Chennai: Following the success of Chetpet lake restoration, Tamil Nadu government in 2015 announced that it would restore three more water bodies in Chennai.
The eco-restoration project, which began with pomp and fanfare in 2016 and executed by PWD and water resources department is now hanging in balance thanks to official apathy.
The restoration project taken up at Madhavaram, Ambattur and Korattur now hangs in balance due to shortage of funds and the dry water bodies are now a picture of neglect and eyesore.
Though the residents enjoyed the scenic beauty during last December, the lakes are now desiccated crying for attention.
According to revenue department sources, the Korattur lake was once sprawling to an extent of 900 acres and due to encroachments it was shrunk to about 500 acres.
Madras high court had also passed orders to clear the encroachers from all water bodies in Chennai, but the order is yet to be implemented in letter and spirit, sources said.
Under the initial phase Rs 15 crore was sanctioned for all the three water bodies and plan was to construct the lakes in to an eco-tourist spot for local residents, but now the project has hit a speedbreaker.
“Local residents of Korattur have also started planting native saplings to improve the green cover, but there are no signs of lake restoration in Korattur anmd Ambattur,” said N. Narayanan, a farmer based in Ambattur Ayanambakkam.
When contacted, a public works department official maintained that about `15 crore had been spent on these lakes under the first phase.
“The first phase of the desilting is completed and we are waiting for funds to complete the project,” he said. Beautification started in 2015 and upon completion will deepen all the three lakes to an extent of 15 foot, the official said without committing on a deadline for beautification projects....