CHENNAI: The Selaiyur lake in Chennai's southern suburbs is brimming with sewage let into the waterbody through stormwater drains. The Water Resources Department (WRD) is yet to plug the sewage inlets into the lake.
Activists in the locality said many houses that do not have an underground sewage pipeline are reportedly letting raw sewage into the cut-and-cover drains built by the Public Works Department (PWD) to carry floodwater from residential localities around Selayur to the lake. This has resulted in water of the lake, 145 acres in size, getting polluted. It is now covered with a layer of water hyacinth and reeks of sewage.
Civic activist Sudhakar said the authorities failed to identify and block the sewage entering the drains. "Where the drain debouches into the lake, it stinks like methane; it also flows continuously," he said, adding that even a light rain causes floods in nearby areas. With the monsoon round the corner, residents in the area, as such, are a worried lot.
According to activist Dhayanand Krishnan, lakes in Chennai’s suburbs have now become urban waterbodies and they need to be deepened and desilted. "For restoration, sewage must be plugged first. If that’s done, the lake will dry up in the summer, and we will know how deep the waterbody is and whether it can be deepened," he said.
When contacted, PWD officials told The New Indian Express, "The sewage issue would be resolved once the underground sewage lines are given to the houses. We will also identify which houses are letting sewage into drains."