Pallavaram lake
Pallavaram lakeJustin George

Green growth that pollutes Tambaram waterbodies

Residents blame the corporation’s lackadaisical approach in cleaning the lakes, and urge officials to prevent drainage from creating more harm.

CHENNAI: Many lakes which were cleaned in Tambaram area last year are now under the blanket of water hyacinth due to lack of maintenance by the Tambaram corporation.

Residents and activists are unhappy with the corporation, and fear that officials’ negligence will lead to acute water scarcity in the future.

Many opined said that water in the lakes in Pallavaram, Chromepet, Keelkattalai and Tiruneeramalai is mixed with drainage, which adversely affects groundwater in the area is also getting affected ultimately.

“Pallavaram big lake, Nemilichery lake, Keelkattalai lake, and Tiruneermalai lake are the most important water sources in the locality. When these are filled with water, there is no shortage of groundwater here,” said residents.

These lakes were cleaned only a few years ago and now they’re covered with water hyacinths. Residents lament that the water in their well had become saltier.

Water hyacinths fill Nemilichery lake in Tamabaram corporation
Water hyacinths fill Nemilichery lake in Tamabaram corporation

“The main reason for the growth of water hyacinths in the lake is that the drainage water is getting mixed. Hyacinths spread only in dirty water and cannot grow when the water is good,” they explained. “Pallavaram already has an underground drainage system. Then how can sewage water mix in the lakes?”

It’s noteworthy that hotels and shops in Pallavaram are not using the UGD and are pouring wastewater into the lakes.

Karthika of Pallavaram said, “We were using water from the well for cooking, washing and bathing. Slowly, it wasn’t fit enough for cooking, but we used it for other purposes. Now, the water condition is so bad that it can’t be used for anything. We’re getting allergies and other skin-related issues as the drainage is mixed in the water.”

Dr Vignesh, a private clinic from Tambaram, concurred and added: “Water from these lakes is unclean and therefore dangerous and cannot be used for anything. People get rashes and suffer from water-related infections due to polluted water. Washing of vessels is also not recommended with this polluted water.”

Veeraragavan lake
Veeraragavan lake

Another resident piped in: “My daughter’s skin is already very sensitive. But now that groundwater is polluted, she cannot use the regular water even for washing purposes. We’re forced to buy filtered water from outside.”

Residents blame the corporation’s lackadaisical approach in cleaning the lakes, and urge officials to prevent drainage from creating more harm.

“They must clean the lake consistently so there’d be no water problems in the future,” they point out.

When contacted, an official from the Tambaram corporation said, “We’re identifying the people who linked the drainage system to the lakes and action will be taken against them. But we also need support from the public in maintaining the lakes. They should not throw waste in them and pollute the water.”

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