A treasure from the past has now been reduced to a dump yard. The Chola-era tank at Varadharaja Perumal temple on Kulakarai Street in Poonamallee which is spread over more than one acre amid fast-developing areas off Poonamallee High Road, has become a garbage dump.
The Hindu reports that the tank helped in irrigating paddy fields and water drawn from the tank was used in homes. Once ubiquitously known as white lotus pond as it was covered with the flowers throughout the year, it is now covered only by sheets of algae. Families around the Poonamallee High Road area say they cannot even visit the tank due to the foul smell from the stagnant water in the tank. Garbage including kitchen waste is dumped around the tank and most steps are damaged. Previously the tank had water throughout the year but the existing stagnant water in the tank is due to rains in December.
Officials told The Hindu that efforts have been taken to renovate the tank and work will begin in March. Initially, a sum of Rs. 1.65 lakh has been allotted to build a fence around the tank to protect it from misuse and prevent people from falling into it.