The East Coast Road (ECR) in Chennai is known for its restaurants, resorts, guest houses and of course, the scenic beach stretches. The smaller lakes and ponds on the other side of the cost are somethings we often don’t relate when we drive on the ECR.
One such a forgotten water body on ECR is the Uzhavarkeni Thangal. Though forgotten the water body still exhibited a sense of calmness when we visited. Tall Neem trees on its western bund made it an ideal spot for one to relax and nap. However, we were not the first ones to realize that and the previous visitor had left behind some of his/her belongings at the water body; bottles, wrappers and plastic bags.
Similar to any other water body in the city this lake is also facing the brunt of human neglect.
E.F.I took on the restoration of this lake prior to the 2019 monsoons. Periphery with overgrown invasive weeds made it difficult for other endemic lives.
Deweeding was very important to this restoration and was the first step taken. The restoration also included the following:
- Removal of solid waste
- Peripheral desilting
- Earthen bund construction and strengthening
- Inlet and Outlet regulation
- Protective Fencing to prevent future dumping of trash
Today, the Uzhavarkeni Thangal is a paradise for birds, reptiles, amphibians and multiple varieties of native plants and trees to thrive.
Prior to the 2020 North-East monsoon, native trees such as Neem, Palm, Pungai are to be planted along the bunds of the lake to increase green cover at the water body and at the same time strengthen the earth bunds to prevent erosion
We thank the Greater Chennai Corporation (G.C.C) for their administrative support and the UST Global team for their funding support in this restoration effort!
Volunteer for India and her environment with E.F.I!