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Lifeline for Chetpet Lake

The Hindu, Chennai, 6th April, 2013

<em>Sports fishing-cum-eco park to come up near waterbody</em>

A sports fishing-cum-eco park will soon be developed in Chetpet. The State government will restore Chetpet Lake and develop tourism infrastructure in a 15-acre area in the vicinity.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday made a statement in the Assembly on the eco development project that will cost nearly Rs. 42 crore. The project will facilitate rejuvenation of the 9-acre waterbody, development of a restaurant with sea food, joggers’ track, walkways, a play area for children and construction of a multi-level parking lot for visitors.

The work is expected to commence in four months and the facilities will be commissioned in two years. Angling is also expected to be promoted in the lake after two years. As part of the proposal, the Fisheries Department will remove water hyacinth and desilt the lake.

The lake, located near the Kilpauk Medical College, has a beautiful island, which will be preserved. Residents of Chetpet said an active anglers’ club had been in existence till the 1940s. The Corporation Council last year adopted a resolution to construct a 1,475-metre-long stormwater drain from the lake to the Cooum at a cost of Rs.2.29 crore to carry excess water during monsoon. The drain would pass through New Bhoopathy Nagar, Pachaiappa’s College playground and Venkatachalapathy Street. The project would also prevent flooding in the Kilpauk Medical College area.

Other recreational activities, including water sports and boating, are expected to attract a large number of visitors to the park. The multi-level parking facility will be constructed on the side of Poonamallee High Road after the metrorail work is completed. The Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Finance Services has been asked to prepare a detailed project report. The water body was affected by illegal sewer connections from a nearby residential neighbourhood.