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Miscreants blast lake bund

K. Manikandan

Encroachers destroy outlet point of Kilaambakkam with explosives to drain water

TAMBARAM: Miscreants on Monday night blasted the bund and a portion of the "kalangal" (outlet point) of the Kilaambakkam Lake near Vandalur to prevent the flooding of several huts and pucca houses that had encroached on the water body.

As a result, almost all the water stored in the lake, spread over 80 acres, drained out and inundated the residential areas in Urapakkam and Kilaambakkam. Farms were also flooded and newly sown paddy damaged.

Guduvanchery police have registered a case following a complaint by Public Works Department officials.

Residents said around 8 p.m. on Monday, they heard three successive loud explosions which they took to be fireworks. The damage came to light only on Tuesday morning, when a youth on a bicycle was swept away by the gushing waters but managed to swim to safety. He was the first to report the incident.

A portion of the outlet point's concrete structure disintegrated in the blast.

As water continued to drain throughout the night, the lake became almost dry in the morning.

Official sources said it served the needs of about 450 acres of farmland, much of which has been converted into residential colonies.

Minister for Textiles V. Somasundaram inspected the lake and said action would be taken against the culprits.

He said immediate steps would be taken to remove the encroachments.

Residents complained that there were about 150 huts, concrete structures and pucca houses that had come on the lakebed in the past few years.

Electricity supply was provided and even roads were laid in the new "localities," residents staying close to the lake said.

They wondered how the Kancheepuram district administration, the Public Works Department, Kattankulathur Panchayat Union and other government agencies concerned could turn a blind eye to this.

Negligence alleged

Recalling that the Vandalur lake was damaged on November 24 and the Senkundram lake near Singaperumal Koil on Sunday, the residents said it only exposed the negligence of the government agencies despite a categorical order from the Madras High Court on removal of encroachments from water bodies.

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