Citizen’s group stages protest seeking restoration of Korattur lake

The protesters demanded implementation of the NGT directive

Members of the Korattur Aeri Pathukappu Iyakkam (KAPMI), a citizen’s group, staged a protest on Saturday seeking implementation of the National Green Tribunal’s directive for restoration of the Korattur lake.

Several members of the group and residents gathered at the lake bund and raised slogans demanding execution of projects to rejuvenate the lake.

Spread over 600 acres, the lake is the main source for groundwater recharge and fishing in the neighbourhood. Although steps had been taken to clear fresh encroachments and to set up an eco-park, a permanent solution had not been found to the main problem of sewage pollution and illegal constructions, said the residents.

Members of KAPMI said the government agencies, including the Water Resources Department and the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, had prepared an action plan for short-term and long-term solutions based on the NGT’s directive in 2019 and recommendations of the joint committee.

KAPMI’s secretary S. Sekaran said many action plans remained on paper for want of funds. The lake had received heavy inflow during the recent heavy rain. But the surplus could not be stored as it flowed through the weir. Moreover, the bund on the western side of the lake near the DTP Colony breached during rain. Sewage release into the lake through stormwater drains was yet to be arrested, he said.

The protesters wanted the lake to be desilted and a survey conducted to demarcate its boundary. Underground drainage system should be built in areas around the waterbody.

The Water Resources Department had a ₹2.82-crore short-term plan last year to plug sewage outfalls and construct regulators. The proposal included raising the height of the weir to prevent waterlogging in neighbouring localities. However, the project is yet to take off.

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