NGO gets clearance to desilt Chitlapakkam Lake

Volunteers during the clean-up drive at Chitlapakkam Lake.

Chennai: The desilting of the Chitlapakkam lake, which is one of the long-pending demands of the residents of the locality, became a reality when NGO Chitlapakkam Rising received clearance from the Water Resources Department (WRD) recently.

The clean-up drive kickstarted 2 June and the WRD has said the work should be completed by 15 September 2019.

About 500 residents and volunteers took part in the inaugural function. Parents of martyr Major Mukund Varadarajan were the chief guests of the event.

The clean-up has been happening every day in which residents have been taking part in large numbers. Sunil Jayaraman from Chitlapakkam Rising said they are getting a sample for the soil test.

“A change of execution plan is anticipated due to recent PWD’s request to us, to focus more on cleaning and not desilt, as they now say they will help initiate desilting. They want us to help complete cleaning plastic, bushes, contaminated water, inside lake boundaries. In a way, its a good thing for us that the PWD is doing the desilting. We thank PWD Executive Engineer Thyagarajan for accelerating desilting efforts for our lake. But, we would be requesting the PWD to allow us to continue our work until they start,” he said.

Sunil added that a detailed project report (DPR) to finalise the budget for the work will be out shortly. “Retired PWD engineer S Thirunavukkarasu would advise on planning while Care Earth Trust and Auroville Foundation, who have expertise in operating earthmovers, have assured to provide assistance in desilting and dredging,” he said.

A resident of Chitlapakkam has assured to offer earthmovers. “We will approach other NGOs and try to get CSR funding once the budget is ready,” he said.

After several requests made by the residents, the Tambaram Municipality has taken steps to stop dumping waste in the lake and has restricted the flow of sewage into the water body. The cleaning takes place every day at 6 am.

For details about the clean-up, contact 90947 83445/99520 61020/
95001 22151.