Tenders floated for Kadapakkam lake restoration

The project will also have a bird island in a 2-hectare area to be planted with native trees.
An artistic representation of a bird island which is set to come up on a two-hectare area where native trees will be planted
An artistic representation of a bird island which is set to come up on a two-hectare area where native trees will be planted(Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: The city corporation has set into motion its two-year plan of renovating the Kadapakkam lake near Manali in North Chennai by floating tenders for the work. The project aims primarily at increasing the lake’s capacity while also making it a recreational hub with an open-air theatre, a recreational fishing spot and a joggers’ trail. Work is expected to be completed within 18 months of the work orders being issued.

Officials said since some amount of agricultural activity is being taken up in the areas surrounding the lake, the restoration will also ensure facilities like sluice gates to use the lake water for agriculture. The lake is presently spread across 55 hectares and has a holding capacity 1.19 million cubic metres (MCM) which the project intends to increase to 1.9 MCM. The project will also have a bird island in a 2-hectare area to be planted with native trees.

A biodiversity study taken up ahead of the project indicated that due to the runoff from the nearby agriculture lands, the lake is severely silted, losing its original water-holding capacity. The lake’s supply and surplus channels were also rendered useless. Being a seasonal lake that depends heavily on the monsoons, it was found to lack a healthy flora and fauna population.

The study recorded 12 species of fish in Kadapakam lake, which is comparatively lesser than other lakes in the region, the study stated. One invasive species Tilapia or Egyptian Mouthbreeder Oreochromis Mossambicus was also encountered. It was also found to be infested with invasive species like hyacinth and Prosopis juliflora.

The project proposes for the inflow to be filtered in a shallow forebay pond to ensure better quality water entering the main lake and 5-metre-wide bund with a walking path. It then proposes to add freshwater fishes that are native to the lake along with aquatic plants to restore ecology. It also proposes the use of environment friendly materials and approaches including reusing dredged soil, paving with eco-friendly materials, and fencing with shrubbery and trees.

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