CHENNAI: Residents of Mathur MMDA have urged the state to restore and desilt Mather Lake, which is in poor condition due to negligence from government authorities.
The Mathur Lake also known as Mathur-Manali Lake is located on the either side of Kamaraj Salai. On the southern side, the lake is over 400 acres falling under Madhavaram taluk, while the lake on the northern side, adjacent to Mathur MMDA is 62 acres, falling under Tiruvottiyur taluk. Through the years, despite pressure from residents in the area, no action has been taken to restore the lake.
Speaking to DT Next, RS Babu, resident of Mathur MMDA and secretary of resident welfare association said, “When we request for the lake restoration and removal of encroachment every time, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and TANUVAS in Madhavaram point fingers at each other to take up the work.”
“However, after repeated pressure, GCC in 2016 constructed a wall on the existing water body and not on the boundary of the lake. As the wall was built on the waterline, most of the encroachment fell outside the wall, thus reducing the area of the lake drastically,”added Babu.
Subsequently, the residents allege that even the portion inside the wall is covered with hyacinth, garbage and sewage let out from the encroachment. But, due to poor response from the government, several welfare associations in 2016 volunteered to clean up the garbage, hyacinth and stop the sewage flow into the lake to some extent. Following this, the Mathur residents claim that TANUVAS also cleaned up the lake, however, desilting and removal of encroachment was not done.
It is important to note that in 2016, GCC was sanctioned Rs 80 lakh under the sustainable water security mission to desilt lakes, ensure ecological restoration, beautification of the lake and more. “As the lake can be approached through the TANUVAS campus, the university also gave entry permission to GCC. However, the restoration work was still not taken up,” said a member of Mathur Resident Welfare Association.
As the lake is an imperative to maintain ground water table and source for the surrounding areas, the residents urged for quick action from officials. There was no response from officials when contacted.