Chennai: Madambakkam lake water potable says Tambaram Corporation, residents disagree

The corporation warned of criminal action against people who spread fake news about the quality of water.
A well in Madambakkam lake | Ashwin Prasath
A well in Madambakkam lake | Ashwin Prasath

CHENNAI:  Following complaints of poor quality of drinking water being supplied to the residents of Chitlapakkam, the Tambaram Corporation, citing a lab report from the Tamil Nadu Water Supply And Drainage (TWAD) Board Maraimalai Nagar dismissed the allegations.

The corporation warned of criminal action against people who spread fake news about the quality of water. “Based on the test report the drinking is potable for public consumption.” the press release said. More than 1.5 MLD of drinking water is supplied from wells at Madambakkam Lake to around 3,300 households in Chitlapakkam and Madambakkam. 

Residents cited the presence of water hyacinths in the lake and around the wells as a sign of pollution. The residents however are not convinced about the claims by the corporation that water from the lake is potable. Dayanand Krishnan, a resident of Chitlapakkam cited reports from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board which confirmed the presence of a high amount of coliform bacteria. “They chlorinate the polluted water and consider it fit for drinking. Corporations should release the complete report instead of making a statement through a press release. TNPCB reports confirm the coliform presence in water samples collected from the lake.” he said.

Experts also raised concerns about the quality of the water. The presence of hyacinths itself is a sign of pollution at the lake, said A Janagaraj, a water management expert. “As per international standards, the Colony Forming Unit (CFU) needs to be zero for it to be fit for drinking. Going by the test reports, the water is unsafe for drinking and chlorination alone will not suffice. A detailed analysis needs to be done and results need to be put out in the public domain.” he added.

Tambaram Corporation Commissioner R Alagumeena told TNIE, “We are regularly monitoring the situation at Madambakkam Lake. Our initial test reports suggested no lapses. Thorough biological test results are awaited and the public should not panic till the results are out.” Meanwhile, for sewage management, a new sewage treatment plant will be set up near the Madambakkam Lake. There are also plans by the state government to build underground drainage in the area, for Rs 1,500 crore.

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