The DMK, led by former Chennai mayor M Subramanian on Thursday, staged a demonstration demanding restoration of Velachery lake and flood mitigation works to arrest the perennial water logging issues in Velachery.
The state has been neglecting the restoration of Velachery lake and the existing water bodies in south Chennai. To save the water bodies, which are now an eyesore with unchecked sewerage flow, the DMK had staged the “Velachery or Velachery” campaign, DMK legislator Subramanian said.
About 50,000 people from different parts of south Chennai along with DMK workers took part in the protest against the poor water management measures planned by the state, Subramanian said.
He also said that during the previous DMK regime a Rs 25 crore eco-restoration project was mooted to restore Velachery and its catchment water bodies, but, the project has been shelved for more than nine years. If voted to power Velachery lake will be transformed into a freshwater tourist attraction like the Chetpet lake, Subramanian claimed.
“The state Forest Department had already expressed its reservation during a meeting with Public Works department in executing flood mitigation project for Velachery which is a main feeder of water for Pallikaranai bird sanctuary,” said a Forest Department official wishing not to be quoted.
“The state should go for an eco-project like the Adyar Poonga and Pallikaranai Marshland restoration. Draining water from Velachery without studying its hydrology and ecology will be a disaster for Pallikaranai marshland,” said conservation scientist K Brinda of Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Tiruchy.
The state’s intention to arrest flooding in Velachery is correct and the surplus rainwater should be used to recharge and not drained. The need of the hour is to have more recharge wells and interconnectivity of water bodies and the not storm water drains, Brinda explained.