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VAST EXPANSE: A view of the Vandiyur Lake in Madurai. —
MADURAI: Collector U. Sagayam has proposed introduction of permanent boating facility at the Vandiyur Lake here in order to provide recreation and entertainment facility for residents and tourists.
He inspected the lake on Saturday along with officials from the Public Works Department (PWD), Corporation, Revenue and Tourism departments and ordered maintenance work to be undertaken immediately, official sources told The Hindu here on Wednesday.
Mr. Sagayam has proposed creation of the facility due to the lake's location. Apart from being in the city, it is also in proximity to the Ring Road and Mattuthavani, a major bus terminus.
The PWD has been directed by the Collector to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for creating boating facilities at the lake in all months and submit it within a week. The report would cover all technical requirements and assess the viability of the proposed project. Surveys had already commenced at the site, the sources said.
The financial estimate of the project would be ascertained upon completion of the PWD report. Once the DPR was submitted, a decision on funding would be taken.
The official said that the project could be executed either with funds from PWD or from the Tourism Department.
A previous attempt at introducing permanent boating at Vandiyur Lake was taken up in the late 1980s. However, it was shelved shortly due to inadequate response.
A multi-crore project to rehabilitate the lake and augment water storage was also proposed in February 2008 by the then Collector S.S. Jawahar with a view to converting the lake into a major tourist attraction with boating facility and parks.
A few other proposals were also contemplated but none materialised and a good round-the-year recreation facility continues to elude the residents of Madurai.
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