Suburban residents claim right to lake

By Balasubramani Muniyandi Published on Jul 12, 2018 05:00 PM IST

Chennai: An emergency crisis meeting of all the resident welfare associations in Madambakkam in the city suburb was convened recently, to discuss the government’s initiative to draw water from Madambakkam lake and supply it to Chitlapakkam.

According to sources, the Chitlapakkam-Madambakkam combined drinking water scheme, is taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore and involves digging of five deep wells on the lake bed.

It is said 18 lakh litres of water will be drawn daily and supplied to these two areas. During the meeting, it was unanimously decided to oppose the project.

The residents said they were not against the sharing of water but wanted the government to find a permanent solution to implement a proper supply scheme to the areas.

“If water is drawn from the Madambakkam lake, it will not be sufficient to supply to the whole of Chitlapakkam. It will also deplete the water table here,” said Ramachadnran, a resident of ALS Nagar.

They also questioned as to why the government is not taking measures to clean the Chitlapakkam lake and instead use that water to supply.

“This is the only source of drinking water for the locality and it also facilitates agriculture practices in this area. During summer, the lake bed becomes absolutely dry and the ground water level is normally at a depth of 200 to 400 feet. There is no proper distribution scheme under Madambakkam Panchayat and, in fact, some of the colonies such as Jal Vayu Vihar, where the retired military community lives, has not even been provided with street taps,” said J R Arunachalam, a resident here.

The locals also alleged that neither was prior information given, nor was their opinion sought before commencing this project.

“We became aware of this only when the work commenced on 12 June. It is said this scheme was reported in two Tamil newspapers on 13 June this year,” said a resident, adding that a meeting called at the office of the Tahsildar, Tambaram Taluk, on 29 June, also did not provide any satisfactory answers.

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