Already, with moderate showers in recent days, the lakes in these areas have started overflowing with water entering households. The residents complain that though the officials are inspecting the lakes, they don’t take any steps to revive them.
Velachery is one such flood-prone area, where the lake gets overflowed with every rain. The locals rue that the lake, once used for drinking and domestic purposes, is now encroached with over 2,000 buildings and letting in sewage from the houses.
“More than 2,000 encroachments have been identified on one side of the lake alone and the sewage from the houses and shops are making way to the lake. The officials inspect the lake but fail to take steps. Already one side of the lake is shrunk and in near future, the entire lake will disappear,” said M Balakrishnan, a resident of Velachery.
Stating that the lake can still be restored by removing the encroachments, he added: “The lake could have stored at least 1 TMC of water in the recent rains. But since not restored, it is not able to store rainwater. The overflowing water is entering households and the situation would be worse once the monsoon starts.” Similarly, the residents near Vengaivasal lake allege that their request to allow them to restore the lake by themselves was turned down by the PWD officials. However, till now the water body is not restored and when there is rain, the water gets mixed with sewage and floods nearby houses.
“For more than two years, the lake gets polluted with the sewage seeping in and we are tired of filing requests to set up a sewage treatment plant. Now, even during a moderate shower, the lake starts overflowing. We cannot imagine the situation when the monsoon begins,” said V Seetharaman, a resident of Rajakilpakkam.
Meanwhile, the PWD is in the process of pre-monsoon work. Officials said they have identified the vulnerable points and works are in progress to prevent flooding during the northeast monsoon.“The water bodies are filled to 85 per cent of their capacity and the restoration works are in progress. Since the southwest monsoon is yet to be withdrawn, we still have some time. The culverts are been cleaned and at some places, we are placing temporary culverts at six metres for the steady flow of water if there is heavy rain,” said a senior PWD official.