This development comes at a time when the residents of the locality have moved the Madras High Court against the local body for digging such wells though it is illegal under Section 14 of Chennai Metropolitan Area Groundwater (Regulation) Act, 1987.
The civic body initiated the works two months ago despite attracting the wrath of residents here.
A resident of Madambakkam, C R Sundar, said, “We hit the street as soon as the Panchayat Union resorted to the process of digging wells on the lakebed as it is bound to have serious repercussions on the groundwater level in the long run. But the engineer, who is in charge of the project, asked us to deal with it legally and that they have obtained due sanction for the same.”
“Though we approached the Madras High court and sought an injunction to restrain them from carrying out the works, the Court failed to grant the same. But we hope that we would get a favourable order to protect the lake when the case comes up for hearing on Monday,” Sundar added.
However, an official attached to the Panchayat Union said, “We have obtained permission from the Water Resources Department (WRD), Lower Palar Basin, to carry out the works.” But WRD authorities claim that a no objection certificate was issued for the project. Another dispute is that the Panchayat reduced the area of the lake spread out in as much as 250 acres to a mere 75 acres just to enable them to obtain permission to dig wells on the waterbed.