As per revenue records, a private trust owns nearly 17 acres of land abutting the lake. This caused concerns among environment activists who moved the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal. The petitioners also cited the bund that the officials had built in 2011 apparently to prevent encroachment. The NGT bench asked the water resources department to remove the bund.
Soon after receiving the direction, PWD officials had initiated efforts to remove the bund using earthmovers. However, the work soon came to an abrupt end, much to the dismay of the residents living nearby. Officials claimed that the works were put on hold so that the water level in the lake would recede.
When asked about this delay, an official from the Kosasthaliyar River Basin said that a proposal on desilting Porur lake was sent to the Greater Chennai Corporation. According to the official, the work on removing it was stopped only for the time being, insisting that it would be resumed along with the desilting of the waterbody. “Otherwise, it is a waste of time and money for the department. We are yet to receive an approval from the civic body, which is expected soon,” he said, adding that the work was likely to begin after December 15.
“The officials have to remove the bund to avoid flooding in the area during the monsoons. We want them to expedite the works and allay the fears of local residents,” said resident from the neighbourhood.
PWD officials are hopeful that the work could start soon after northeast monsoon withdraws from Tamil Nadu.