Thursday, June 14, 2012

Encroachments removed, pond gets new life

TNN Jun 7, 2012, 05.04AM IST

Chennai: A 50-year-old pond in Jamin Pallavaram got a new lease of life on Wednesday after a team of revenue officials led by Tambaram revenue divisional officer S Etiappan demolished encroachments on the banks of the water body. The officials demolished an illegal concrete foundation built on a portion of the pond.

Wednesday's action is the preliminary step to restore the pond spread across 1.44 acres. Based on complaints from residents, revenue officials oversaw demolition of a concrete foundation at 11am.

Before constructing the foundation, some residents had dumped garbage to encroach upon the water source. "Though residents do not fetch water from the pond now, the water body helps recharge the water table in the locality. With the increase in land value, water bodies have become easy targets of encroachers," said K Shanmugam, a resident.

Revenue officials have also started identification of other encroachments, mostly houses, around the water body. With the help of police and local body, the revenue officials would demolish the illegal structures soon. "Most of these encroachments are nearly 50 years old. There are about 60 such buildings. Any demolition of these structures will create a law and order problem. Based on a detailed survey, we will rope in stakeholders including resident welfare associations, police and the local body to remove the encroachments," said a revenue official.

Officials of the Pallavaram municipality said many water bodies within its limits are being renovated by deepening and de-silting them. A proposal including cost to renovate the pond in Jamin Pallavaram will be tabled at the council meeting of the municipality this month.

© 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved

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