Saving the Encroached Lake of Chengalpet – Thirutheri Lake

The Chengalpet region has been often revered as a district in Tamil Nadu with a diverse ecology. Comprising of hilly terrains, rivers, forests, lakes and ponds, the region is blessed with numerous natural resources. Thanks to this, the Chengalpet district has seen a massive transformation as the district began to grow to catch up with the modern world.

As new institutions, industries and residential complexes began to arise, the population count too grew exponentially. This, however, had a negative impact on the district’s ecosystem. Buildings were constructed on barren lands that were once lakes, and forests, existing ponds and lakes were abused and exploited owing to excessive dumping, and encroachment of water bodies are few of the factors that caused this decline. The Thirutheri Lake is one such a water body that experiences all the above mentioned issues.

In an effort to revive the lake, E.F.I in collaboration with the Chengalpet District Collectorate and Renault Nissan Technology and Business Center India (RNTBCI) took on the task of restoring the Thirutheri Lake.

Survey

With support from Chengalpet Block Development Officials, the lake’s boundaries and total area was determined.

Removal of Invasive Weeds

Owing to years of no maintenance, invasive weeds such as Prosopis juliflora, Ipomoea carnea and thorny shrubs had grown rampant on the lake’s bunds and water holding area. Using excavators, they were cleared from the lake.

Desilting

Excess silt deposits were found across the lake bed as the lake had not been maintained for a long time. This had created an uneven contour on the lake bed, thereby decreasing the lake’s water holding capacity. The lake was desilted to increase its storage capacity and to level the contour.

Bund Construction and Strengthening

Using the silt excavated, the damaged bunds of the lake were repaired and strengthened. The height of the bund was increased, hence increasing the storage of the lake and improving its flood resilience.

Construction of Islands

Islands were constructed to provide a nesting site for local flora and fauna of the region to thrive in the lake.

Solution to the Encroachment Issue

A large portion of the lake is now being retrieved from encroached lands. Given below is the map that shows how much was retrieved.

The Lake – Present Condition

We thank all the local residents and volunteers who helped strengthen this efforts. Stay tuned for more updates.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s