Who will desilt Veeraraghavan Eri?

With residents calling for the rejuvenation of Veeraraghavan Eri, V. Santhanam, a social activist, filed an RTI in March, seeking information from St.Thomas Mount union panchayat about the steps taken to restore the waterbody. Recently, the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat responded, saying the RTI had been forwarded to the Thiruneermalai town panchayat as the waterbody came under the latter’s jurisdiction. A reply from the Thiruneermalai town panchayat stated that on October 21, 2012, the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat convened a meeting to transfer ownership of the waterbody to the Thiruneermalai town panchayat. “We have been sending several representations to officials of both the Thiruneermalai town panchayat and the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat to rejuvenate the waterbody at the earliest. Further, the Thiruneermalai town panchayat has requested the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat to take steps to remove the encroachments on the waterbody and transfer ownership as decided at the October 2012 meeting.

With residents calling for the rejuvenation of Veeraraghavan Eri, V. Santhanam, a social activist, filed an RTI in March, seeking information from St.Thomas Mount union panchayat about the steps taken to restore the waterbody.

In his petition, he had asked for the details about the original size of the waterbody and its present size, the future plans for the lake, when it was last de-silted and also about the steps being taken to prevent discharge of sewage.

Recently, the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat responded, saying the RTI had been forwarded to the Thiruneermalai town panchayat as the waterbody came under the latter’s jurisdiction. A reply from the Thiruneermalai town panchayat stated that on October 21, 2012, the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat convened a meeting to transfer ownership of the waterbody to the Thiruneermalai town panchayat. “We are not aware of the proceedings of the meeting and the decisions taken,” the reply added. Further, the Thiruneermalai town panchayat has requested the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat to take steps to remove the encroachments on the waterbody and transfer ownership as decided at the October 2012 meeting.

Residents say if the sprawling waterbody is deepened and desilted, the neighbourhood would not face water scarcity. At present, residents receive Palar drinking water only once in a week. Most of the residents have either fitted Reverse Osmosis (RO) units or buy water through tankers and store it in sumps.

The scarcity could have been averted had the higher officials of the State government intervened and issued a directive either to the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat or to the Thiruneermalai town panchayat to rejuvenate the waterbody. “The groundwater level has gone down and the wells have gone dry,” V. Purushothaman, a resident of New Colony, said. “We have been sending several representations to officials of both the Thiruneermalai town panchayat and the St.Thomas Mount union panchayat to rejuvenate the waterbody at the earliest. However, all our efforts have gone in vain as the officials play a blame game, citing jurisdictional limitations,” Santhanam added. Stay updated with all the Chennai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles

CM promises to fast-track real estate approvals
  • Saturday | 24th February, 2018
Engineering counselling goes online
  • Saturday | 24th February, 2018
Conditional nod for festival at beach resort
  • Saturday | 24th February, 2018
Government justifies curbs on imported sand
  • Saturday | 24th February, 2018