Chennai: In a landmark judgement for environmentalists, the Madras High Court has passed an order to prevent the damaging of a lake on the Tamil Nadu border.
The High Court has ordered that the Pallavaram-Thuraipakkam ring road, which runs across the Pallavaram lake, be removed and put up on pillars. The road is a part of the National Highway connecting Chennai and Puducherry.
The order could not have come at a better time as the Pallavaram lake and the three adjoining lakes in the area, have turned into dumping grounds and have almost completely dried up.
"This lake used to take up 125 acres and now, it's barely 50 acres. Garbage is dumped and burnt here and houses have been built illegally," says S Rethnapandian, an activist.
The Madras High Court order comes as a response to the PIL filed by Rethnapandian.
The Court has said the lake must be restored to its original state and the entire area should be fenced. The court also ordered the removal of 350 illegal houses within six months.
"We've identified 50 acres of land near Vengadamangalam. All garbage from Pallavaram and surrounding areas will be dumped there henceforth," says Chairman of Pallavaram Municipality, E Karunanidhi.
Filling up lakes for construction of houses and roads is common in Chennai. Right now, over seven lakes in the city have roads running over them or have been turned into residential and commercial properties.
Where Chennai once had over 150 water bodies, it now has only 27 and these too are fast disappearing. This landmark judgement will certainly provide a fillip to environmentalists who seek to conserve Singara Chennai.