Sriperumbudur pond gets life after four decades

The volunteers also established a rainwater harvesting central pit with leading trenches to ensure improved water conservation.

Chennai: At a time when the water bodies in the state spew froth, a pond in Sriperumbudur, left in shambles for the past 40 years, has been brought back to life.

In a true sense of restoration, volunteers of the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) have not just restored the Chellaperumal Nagar pond, but also sensitised the Irula community here to guard the water body.

The 2.5-acre water body, which belongs to the Sri Ramanujar temple in Sriperumbudur, was desilted in a month-long scientific restoration, thus improving its storage capacity by at least 22 percent from zero.

Having deweeded the water body from the invasive water hyacinth plants that suffocate life, the volunteers would also be strengthening the bund with native tree species. According to C. Vajiravelu, EFI coordinator, palm seeds would be planted on the land bund, in order to prevent soil erosion. “At least 500 seeds and 100 saplings would be planted,” he said. The volunteers also established a rainwater harvesting central pit with leading trenches to ensure improved water conservation.

What is the role of government departments in the restoration? While the Kancheepuram district administration gave permission to the EFI, the executive officer of the Sriperumbudur town Panchayat was merely inspecting the site, unmoved by the volunteerism.

The pond, which once was the chief source of irrigation to the paddy cultivation here was ignored after real estate took over the suburban locality. "The pond was not restored in the past 40 years. It was also a means of drinking water to the residents. Despite its sad state, the Irula residences are dependent on the water,” Vajiravelu said.

So who would maintain the pond after restoration? The EFI volunteers, as part of their community-driven project, have sensitised the 50 Irula families on the importance of the water body and the need to keep it uncontaminated.

Mambakkam lake restored
The 150-acre Mambakkam lake rejuvenation work has commenced with the help of local volunteers and initiatives of the Sabari Green Foundation and State Bank of India Officers Association Trust.

The bund of the lake was strengthened and weeds were removed. The members of the State Bank of India Officers Association Trust, said that they would plant 1,000 saplings around the lake. Founders of Thuvakkam, Krishna Kumar and Suresh planted 50 saplings with their young volunteer team.

Members of Sabari Green Foundation, V. Subramani and V. Rama Rao appealed to the general public and corporates to join hands for restoring water bodies.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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