Chennai: With the summer sun beating down harshly on Chennai, a number of wells, lakes, and temple tanks are running dry. An old lake at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Ayanavaram has, however, been reclaimed thanks to the interest taken in its restoration by the ICF general manager, K Mani .
Despite the government and the opposition spending lakhs of rupees on restoring and desilting water bodies and cleaning temple tanks, the dearth of water is hitting the city residents hard.
A lake at ICF has been around for about 20 years but of which not many were aware. It was recently cleaned and restored, and water from it is being used for various activities at ICF. “The lake is about 30 feet deep, and the water is used for non-drinking purposes. There are trees around the lake, amid which a 3-km pathway for people to walk is being thought of. The plan is to open the pathway for morning walkers once ready,” said a source.
Rainwater flows into the lake. For many years, residents in the nearby areas had access to the lake and would use the water for their daily purposes. But slowly, sewage and wastewater were being let into the lake making it unfit for use.
The areas near the ICF Lake had become a dumping ground for many, with sewage also being let in. But having a good source of groundwater, the area near ICF in Ayanavaram has a nice canopy of trees.
Sources added it is being planned to use the water in the lake for drinking purposes. “Trees are being planted in the premises to maintain greenery and a lot of renovation and painting work is being carried out including on the boundary walls,” said the source, adding that the keen interest of the general manager is driving the same.
Residents of the area said that such initiatives would help improve the groundwater level and also add to the greenery in the area, which is a boon to motorists, as they remain sheltered from the sun due to the thick canopy.
“Boating activity should be allowed so that the place can double up to be a picnic spot for people in this end of the city,” said a resident, Ganesh Sundar.