The Moolachi Kulam Restoration Story

The Moolachi Kulam is a large lake, located in Moolachi, a village in the Southwestern periphery of Tirunelveli. For years, the lake was left untouched, with constant domestic waste being dumped into it. The bunds of the lake owing to no proper maintenance were found to be broken and even non-existent at many places. The lake bed had excess silt deposits in it, decreasing its storage capacity.

In an effort to restore this large lake, E.F.I in collaboration with the Tirunelveli District Administration took on the task of reviving the Moolachi Kulam

  1. Deweeding:

The Moolachi Kulam was covered in invasive weeds predominantly over the water holding area and the periphery of the Lake. These weeds, mostly prosopis julifora, was taken out through machine based deweeding wherein dozers and excavators were used to completely uproot the weeds.

  • Peripheral desilting:

The periphery of the was found to have excess siltation deposits that has been collected over the years. This had damaged the bunds of the lake, affecting the lake’s water holding strength. This also affects the percolation capacity of the soil and reduces the volume of the Lake. Hence, it is of utmost importance to remove the top layer of silt accumulated in the bund of the lake.

De-silting increases the water carrying capacity of the Lake as the volume of the Lake increases. In this case, de-silting also increases the depth of the Lake.

  • Creation of Nesting Islands:

Nesting islands are small islands that are established in a lake to provide a habitat for local flora and fauna to thrive in. A total of 8 circular nesting islands were constructed at the Moolachi Kulam.

The islands are 7 feet high, and 25 feet wide. Islands also help in redirecting the flow of water in a lake.

  • Bund Strengthening:

The bunds of the lake prior to restoration were found to be weak, damaged, and even non-existent is several parts. Bunds play a crucial role in the storage of water and it is imperative to ensure that bunds are strong enough to hold and store water at any given time.

Using the excavated silt from the periphery, the bunds of the lake were strengthened and even increased in height. The bunds of the lake now scale as follows:

  1. Eastern axis bund height: 12 feet
  2. Northern axis bund height: 5 feet
  3. West and South side bund: 5 feet
  • Revival of Lake’s Encroached Area:

Owing to years of negligence, the lake was found to be encroached, thereby reducing the lake’s area. The encroachment was removed during the restoration, reclaiming the lake’s lost area of 0.93 acres.

After restoration

With all its new features, the lake is now ready to host life and provide for our future generations.

We thank all those who supported and strengthened our efforts.

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