After two-year gap, work on desilting Porur lake to resume

After a gap of two years, Porur lake, one of the drinking water sources that has dried up this summer, is set to get desilted in a couple of weeks. The Water Resources Department has proposed to resume work to remove silt from the lake along with a few other waterbodies to increase storage.

This comes after Chennai Metrowater had written to the Department seeking to desilt the lakes for improving storage and use as drinking water sources for the city. Porur lake, which has a water spread area of 250 acres, now has only water in puddles and serves as a grazing area for animals.

Officials of the WRD said of the nearly 3.8 lakh cubic metre of silt estimated to be cleared, the work to remove nearly 1.93 lakh cubic metre of silt was still pending. “The storage had already increased by 197 million litres a day (mld) due to the work we had done earlier. Metrowater had pumped and treated the water from the lake for city’s consumption. Metrowater would be able to draw water for an additional two months from the lake,” said an official.

Work in progress

Similarly, the department had desilted portions of the Ayanambakkam lake, which is one of the three waterbodies that has been identified as drinking water sources by Metrowater. “We have increased the storage capacity by 10 mcft in the Ayanambakkam lake. We have given permission to install intake wells. Metrowater is already drawing water from Retteri,” said an official.

It may be recalled that Metrowater had devised a project to treat and use water from Retteri, Ayanambakkam and Perumbakkam lakes for drinking water supply. Officials noted that preliminary work to set up modular water treatment plants in these lakes would start by mid-July.

“We are drawing 8-10 mld from Retteri lake and transporting to Kilpauk Water Works for treatment and distribution. Works to set up treatment plants would be completed by October,” said a Metrowater official.

While the capacity of onsite water treatment plant in Porur lake would be upgraded to 10 mld, the water agency is identifying locations in these three lakes too to set up more facilities to treat reclaimed water.

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