The Chembarambakkam lake, one of the few major drinking water resources of Chennai is finally getting desilted, after facing years of neglect. According to reports, the water resources department said that desilting process was started on Wednesday. Desilting is a process which aims to rid the lake bed of accumulated silt to improve storage capacity.
The project was kickstarted only five months after the lake was commissioned to be desilted. Kancheepuram collector P Ponniah had inaugurated the project to desilt the lake.
According to reports which have quoted sources in the Water Resources Department, the lake, which covers an area of 2316 hectares, will be desilted over a period of 8 years. Further, 25.30 lakh lorry loads would have to clear 151 lakh cubic metres of silt from the lake to improve storage capacity.
The Chembarambakkam lake has a storage capacity of 3645 million cubic feet. Further, the four lakes that currently supply water to Chennai have only been storing water at 80 percent of its capacity, due to the presence of silt accumulated over decades.
An official source from the WRD also states to The Hindu that with the completion of desilting, at least 536 million cubic feet of water can be added.
The desilting process has been handed over on contract basis with each contractor paying the government to desilt the lake.
Revenue from the sale of silt is expected to come up to over 190 crore after desilting the Chembarambakkam lake.
Apart from Chembarambakkam lake, desilting process is also being carried out in Cholavaram lake, where at least 70,000 cubic metres of silt has been removed.
The Red Hills lake to expected to be desilted soon after an order to desilt the lake was issued 5 months ago.
An additional reservoir to store and supply water in Chennai is also commissioned to be built in Thervoy Kandigai-Kannankottai in Tiruvallur district.