Tamil Nadu: Public help revive dying Gingee lake

People'S movement expands lake's capacity to 3cr ltrs.

Chennai: It is a clear example of people’s movement at Gingee (Senji) town of Villupuram district.

A team of 33 people shouldered the responsibility of deepening the 40-acre water body as their plea to the town panchayat and district administration to restore Gingee lake went unheeded.

The lake, which wore a dead look with encroachments and solid waste, is full of activity during the daytime, where bulldozers are removing the thrash settled since decades.

It is volunteers, and not officials from public works department, who deployed workers to deepen the lake. From pooling in the money to holding talks with the civic body officials, the volunteers are doing it all.

Sakthi Rajan, an advocate and a member of the group, said, “We started the cleaning work 15 days ago. The one-month project is aimed at desilting the 40-acre water body to improvise the groundwater table.”

Every day, volunteers collect a sum of '50,000 and monitor the deepening work at the lake. The severe water crisis faced by the town this year has driven members to take up the ecological cause.

The people’s initiative is already witnessing a change, as the lake now possesses storage capacity of 3 crore litres of water, said volunteers, who had also cleaned three ponds in the town. “Despite heavy rains in the past, the lake remained dry. We hope that the ‘ ‘dry’ situation would not repeat next year,” said Suresh.

According to volunteers, there are more than 380 encroachment structures on the lake. “Water bodies are generally treated as unnecessary resources. While the public disposes of their waste at the lake, the government officials take no steps to curb it. The lake had not been desilted in more than 50 years,” said J Bhaskaran, another member.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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