The Madambakkam Lake, located in the southern suburbs of Chennai, has been a primary source of water for residents in both Madambakkam and Chitlapakkam for decades. However, the deterioration of the lake’s water quality over the past few years has become a cause for concern.
The lake has been marred by the unchecked growth of water hyacinths, which now covers large portions of its surface, making it difficult to access the water beneath. Sewage from nearby residential areas and illegal dumping has found its way to the lake. The sewage has encircled the wells within the lake.
Chitlapakkam resident Rajesh Kumar said, “We are dependent on the lake for several years. The water quality has turned from bad to worse. We are scared to use the water after seeing the condition of the lake.” Resident-activist Sunil Jayaraman said the water in his sump is dirty due to the pollution of the lake. “It is disheartening to see the sorry state of our lakes. This southern suburb has several water bodies but we cannot rely on them,” said Vinayakan J, a Madambakkam resident.
The state government has sanctioned the rejuvenation of five water bodies which includes the Noothancheri pond in Madambakkam. But it does not include the lake. Executive engineer Selvakumar from the water resource department said they are discussing with the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) regarding the restoration of Madambakkam Lake. “Once we come up with a plan with CMDA, we will start desilting the lake,” Selvakumar said.
Meanwhile, Tambaram corporation is seeking corporate social responsibility funds of 4.5 crore to rejuvenate suburban lakes. A corporation official said when the corporation’s health department visited the lake last week, the filters inside the well were intact. However, residents fear if the lake is not restored, the quality of water may worsen.