Pudur residents form group to keep encroachments at bay

Chennai: Sunnambu Kulam in Pudur was once a waterbody that people in the region depended on and looked after. However, today, its state is far from ideal.

With encroachments on the rise, residents of the neighbourhood had no option other than to form a team named Pudur Ilaignargal to save what is left of it.

Kotteeswaran, who is part of the team and a resident of the neighbourhood, said, “The kulam was there for ages. Until recently, it served a purpose and people were dependent on it. However, things have gone worse in recent times when people stopped going to the lake to fetch water and started depending on underground water.”

The group cleared the lake twice using earthmovers, clearing waste and debris, but till date, the waterbody is still facing issues, they say.

“Firstly, the path that leads towards the lake has been blocked. We have sent letters to the department concerned and submitted our petitions too. But our efforts are yet to bear fruit,” said the 39-year-old.

With tenements nearby discharging sewage into the lake, people had stopped visiting the spot, thus, making it an ideal spot for tipplers to resort to, stated the team members.

Oragadam Ilaignargal removing debris and waste from Sunnambu kulam that is grappling with issues.

They also stated that a resident has installed a borewell near the lake and is currently selling water for commercial purposes.

“We will be meeting the MLA soon and speak with him regarding the issue. The waterbody has to be saved,” said Kotteswaran.

At present, residents and youngsters are keeping the lake from encroachments by using it as a playground, as it is dry. However, they said once monsoon brings good showers, they plan to revive the lake to its former glory.

Praveen Kumar S