Chennai: With the monsoon fast approaching, residents in and around Manickam Nagar, Chrompet, want Pallavaram Municipality to restore Nemillicherry Lake. Residents are staging a protest on 2 October pressurising Municipality to clear garbage, deepen the lake for storing rainwater and stop in-flow of household sewage into the lake.
Speaking to News Today about their move, Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association president Meenakshi Sundaram, says, “In a move to reclaim the waterbody, with the neighbourhood residents and philanthropists’ pooling around Rs 17 lakhs, this year, we removed the debris. Having spent so much, we want the authorities to act before the onset of monsoon.”
Around 1,40,000 tonnes of garbage have been removed solely by the neighbourhood resident-volunteers with support from several NGOs. ‘While the garbage clearance was entirely a citizen-driven movement, the Municipality stopped us in between and promised of taking over the lake for restoration. However, we realised that they were dodging around. We were also informed that local political forces are involved in not taking the work forward,” said Bharathipuram Residents’ Welfare Association secretary Ramadass.
After the clean-up programme, it was learnt that the Municipality, once again, continued to let the sewage water into the lake much to the disappointment of the local residents and activists. Sprawled across 17.63 hectares, the waterbody has shrunk down to mere 11.20 hectares and has been dried-up and the citizens want the lake to be restored which, they say, could meet the water needs of the neighbourhood to a certain extent.
However, when News Today reached out to the Pallavaram Municipality, sources said that they have already taken measures and stopped the sewage mixing with the lake water and said the Public Works’ Department (PWD) is responsible of restoration and removing the garbage. “We are waiting to get the approval of the proposal from the Kanchipuram Collector. The project will be flagged once we receive an official notification,” said an official from PWD.