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Residents take up Sembakkam Lake cause

K. Manikandan

Vow to protect the water body themselves if government agencies don't act to stop contamination


  • 150 plus acre lake dry except for a few puddles despite rains
  • Sewage being discharged by homes, industries into the lake
  • No progress despite promises made in Assembly six months ago



    CITIZENS' ACTION: Residents of Sarvamangala Nagar and Chitlapakkam are proud of their new initiative to protect and revive Sembakkam lake. — Photo: A. Muralitharan

    TAMBARAM: Residents of Chitlapakkam and Sembakkam areas have joined hands in a bid to draw the government's' attention to the Sembakkam Lake and ensure immediate implementation of schemes to protect the water body as promised in the State Legislative Assembly more than six months ago.

    Despite the plentiful rains during the current monsoon the lake, spread over more than 150 acres, is today dry but for a few puddles of water. And on Sunday, residents sat together to take the initiative to protect the lake that could serve as a source of water recharge to thousands of families in Sembakkam, Chitlapakkam, Rajakilpakkam and Pallavaram Municipality.

    No progress yet

    Recalling that the lake was the only water body in Kancheepuram district to be identified for protection by the Estimates Committee under a scheme of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development during the Assembly session in April, residents said the Public Works Department was expected to take up the improvement works in the current financial year itself.

    But since there was no progress even six months after the proposals made by the Estimates Committee, residents of the Sri Sarvamangala Nagar Residents Welfare Association urged the State Government agencies to act quickly.

    P. N. Srinivasan, president of the association regretted that storm water drains, constructed to drain rainwater into the water bodies, were discharging only sewage from homes and industries.

    Prevent contamination

    In his appeals to the Kancheepuram District Collector and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Mr. Srinivasan has urged the authorities to prevent the contamination of the lake .

    P. Viswanathan, convener of the Chitlapakkam Residents' Associations Coordination Committee, said water draining from the Pachamalai Hills made its way into the various water bodies in this region, including lakes at Chitlapakkam, Sembakkam, Nanmangalam and others before the surplus entered the Pallikaranai marsh. Over the years, this natural system of water distribution had vanished and today most of the water bodies had become nothing more than cesspools of sewage.

    On Sunday's meeting, residents vowed not to spare any efforts to revive the lake and discussed mobilising more people so that they could take on the job of protecting the water body if the authorities just sit and watch the silent death of a precious natural resource.

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