This past week, workers of a contractor of Chennai Corporation have been digging up channels on all the roads that run alongside the Chitrakulam in order to lay pipelines.
These pipes will be interconnected at regular intervals by water collection chambers ( some of which are now being built). There will be filters above these chambers to prevent street waste from falling into the chambers and pipelines.
This water will then be channeled into the temple tank which is now full of scrubs.
Senior BJP member and former area councillor Lakshmi Suresh says the design and construction should have been planned better. “The chambers are too small and I fear if the rainwater flow is heavy can cause overflows, ” says Lakshmi who had overseen similar work of clearing drains that led rainwater into the Sri Kapali Temple tank. “Also, the chambers and filters are located such that heavy vehicles movement on these streets could easily damage them.”
Rainwater harvest experts like Sekhar Raghavan who have studied the Chitrakulam issue have said that unless houses all around the tank have rainwater harvesting systems and they tap all the rainwater, the tank will never hold water for long.
“Tapping the rain in a big area will help raise the local groundwater level all around and also help the tank area retain water for a long time,” Sekhar has said.
Since many buildings and houses in the Chitrakulam have deep borewells which tap all the ground water, retaining water in the tank will not happen because of the domestic water pumping happens on a daily basis.