Nellai’s Mega Restorations

The Tirunelveli town in South India is a town well known for the Halwa (a sweet dish). Apart from all the sweetness and centuries old temples that this town boasts, it also has several water bodies in its vicinity. Lakes, ponds, rivers, canals and tanks that are interconnected through an intricate water system, built by our ancestors. As the city grew rapidly over the years, it saw people in large numbers move in to it. A city that had several prospects such as the rising industries, abundant resources, and more.

But this urbanisation of the city took a toll on it’s ecological balance. Countless water bodies soon began to face the wrath of modernisation as development got the upper hand. This meant several water bodies were destroyed or converted apartment complexes, dumping of solid waste in large amounts, letting in the flow of untreated sewage into canals and streams.

Two such water bodies were the Udayarpatti Lake and the Pettai Lake. Located in the Western Tirunelveli, the two lakes were taken over by invasive weed species such as water hyacinth and prosopic julifora. These species thrive at sites where there is heavy contamination of water. Large amounts of solid waste were also found along the boundaries of these two lakes.

With the administrative support of the Government of Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli Collectorate, E.F.I had taken on the restoration of these two massive water bodies in Nellai. Check out the restoration of these two lakes via these photos!

Udayarpatti Lake

Before

Being located in a urban pocket of Nellai, Udayarpati Lake was almost entirely covered by water hyacinth, choking away its life.

During restoration

With the use of machines, a whopping 450 tonnes of water hyacinth were removed from the lake! The lake was later fenced along its boundary, giving it a definitive boundary and also to prevent further dumping of solid waste.

Pettai Lake

Before

With an irrigation land on one side, and a main road followed by residential complexes on the other side, there is quite a demand for water from the Pettai Lake. But over the years large amounts of solid waster were dumped in to the lake, paving the way for water hyacinth to grow in it.

During restoration

A total of 300 tonnes of water hyacinth were removed from the Pettai Lake with the help of machines and labourers. The lake was later fenced to protect itself from further human intervention.

Before After Comparison

Udayarpatti Lake
Udayarpatti Lake
Udayarpatti Lake
Pettai Lake
Pettai Lake
Pettai Lake

We thank Thiru Vishnu Venugopal IAS, District Collector for supporting us in restoring these water bodies.

News coverage of the Nellai Restoration

Volunteer for India and her Environment with E.F.I.

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