Ne­glected ICF lake to get fresh lease of life

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI -

FROM be­ing an drink­ing wa­ter source once, the In­te­gral Coach Fac­tory (ICF) lake in Ay­navaram has steadily de­te­ri­o­rated in the last few decades. But, if at­tempts by ICF au­thor­i­ties fruc­tify, the lake will sport a re­ju­ve­nated look by the end of the year. Work is now un­der­way to erad­i­cate al­gae, hy­acinth, wa­ter weeds and heavy met­als, all of which have ob­scured the lake.

In the 1950’s, as a reser­voir of rain­wa­ter, the lake catered to the drink­ing wa­ter needs of nearby res­i­den­tial ar­eas. How­ever, in a re­flec­tion of the state of sev­eral other lakes in the city, the dis­charge of un­treated sewage has ru­ined this wa­ter body.

ICF of­fi­cials said they have en­gaged a con­trac­tor to im­prove the wa­ter qual­ity by re­mov­ing the above iden­ti­fied el­e­ments. Dis­solved oxy­gen lev­els have dipped to be­low 5 mg/l in some parts of the lake, while ni­trates and phos­pho­rus con­tent have in­creased due to eu­troph­i­ca­tion. The lake is spread over 25 acres and mea­sures 24 feet in depth.

To set right the sit­u­a­tion, the lake will be drained and dredged to re­move the sludge in its bot­tom. “The drained wa­ter will be fil­tered and then in­tro­duced again in the lake. This will al­low ma­rine species such as fishes and tur­tles present in the lake to thrive,” a of­fi­cial said. The work ex­pected to be com­plete by Novem­ber is es­ti­mated to cost `52 lakh.

In re­cent months, ICF has taken steps to beau­tify the lake sur­round­ings. Over­grown shrubs and trees have been cut and two parks on its banks in­au­gu­rated (in May ear­lier this year). There are plans to build a jog­ging track around the lake’s perime­ter af­ter the on­go­ing re­ju­ve­na­tion work is com­pleted.

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