Residents of Velachery and Admabakkam have been waiting for almost a decade for the restoration of the Velachery lake like how Chetpet lake was turned around and made into a recreational spot. But their dream of seeing the lake in its original shape has been fading just like the lake.
Uma Maheshwaran said that when he moved to Velachery in 1984, the lake sprawled up to the Adambakkam police station and it shrunk to its present size in the last three decades. “The lake is the lifeline of Velachery and other surrounding areas and it helped maintain the groundwater table intact. But now, the water level has gone below 350 feet and poor maintenance of the lake is one of the prime reasons,” he said.
Uma Maheshwaran complained that the lake has been encroached upon and about 25,000 houses have been illegally built on the lake bund. “Sewage from all the residences are being let into the lake. Since the Corporation lorries do not collect garbage regularly, the residents dump the entire waste in the lake. There is a limit to allow constructions around the lake and all the rules in this regard have been violated,” he said.
S Ramachandran, another resident, said, “Whenever we petition the Corporation, officials say that the lake falls under Public Works Department (PWD). Corporation officials allege that they get notices if they get involved with the lake,” he added. When contacted, PWD officials said that they will be able to comment on the issue only after the Parliamentary elections.
Uma Maheshwaran said that residents, too, should take steps not to pollute the lake otherwise, the time is not far away for the lake to become non-existent for the next generation.