Recollect the journey of saving the Sembakkam lake.
The Sarvamangalam Residents Welfare Association was striving to save the waterbody for the past 20 years. I remember taking bath in this lake every day before leaving to my college 35 years ago. The water in this lake was clear and sand was soft which was utilised for farming activities. We realised that the source is being subjected to rampant pollution owing to the rapid construction of buildings and draining wastewater into the lake.
What caused the pollution of the waterbody?
Sembakkam and Chitlapakkam have no Under Ground Drainage (UGD) facilities to collect sewage from the residential complexes here. For the past 20 years, we had represented the issue through various media agencies. Also, we filed petitions with the government authorities urging to lay UGDs in our localities. Recently, they promised us that these localities will receive UGDs soon.
What is the next plan towards saving the waterbody?
Originally, the lake stood at an area of 150 acres. But now it is merely at 100 acres. We are grateful to Nature Conservancy who obtained permission from the government to rejuvenate the lake in scientifically. We are planning to press the authorities to operationalise the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) until the effective implementation of UGDs.