Chennai, August 24:
After renovating and greening its parks, the Chennai Corporation now plans to clean up the Chetpet and Velachery lakes in the city, beautify the surroundings and organise regular boat rides, with a view to creating new recreational avenues for Chennaiites.
Sources said that the Public Works Department that manages Velachery Lake and the Fisheries Department which controls Chetpet Lake, have agreed, in principle, to hand the water bodies over to the civic body.
Tenders have already been floated with regard to the beautification work of these lakes.“Once the lakes are officially handed over to us, they would be desilted to make them ready for fun boating facilities there,” a senior Corporation official told Express.
Besides landscaping along the lake’s boundaries, walkways made of imported stones would also be built, the official said.
The Velachery Lake, which originally covered an area of 265.48 acres, has shrunk to 47 acres now due to encroachment and also due to government allotments to the State’s housing and alum clearance boards.
Till a decade ago, it had served as a major source of drinking water for Velachery residents. Now it is polluted by industrial waste and unchecked sewer inflow.
The Chetpet Lake covers 14 acres and has a small island with a lone tree making it perfect for boat rides.