Clean Tech

Breathing new life into perishing lakes

Preeti Mehra | Updated on June 14, 2021

Drop by drop: Work is on to restore the 100-acre Sembakkam lake, in Chennai, which flows into the Pallikaranai wetland, one of South India’s last remaining natural marshlands   -  PICHUMANI K

An industry-driven initiative is rejuvenating waterbodies in Chennai

When the core business of a company entails working with water, the preservation and health of this precious, life-sustaining commodity becomes a matter of prime concern. That seems to be the philosophy behind pump manufacturer Grundfos’s efforts at rejuvenating waterbodies in Chennai that have come to ruin. “Sustainability is in our DNA and the idea has been to create solutions for climate challenges,” says George Rajkumar, the India President of the Denmark-headquartered major.

Grundfos’s first project, about two years ago, was a 2.5-acre temple pond, Gangai Amman Koil Kulam in Injambakkam, Chennai. In collaboration with Hand in Hand India, they cleared its bed, bolstered the bund, and built fences. Around 100 trees were planted and 4,000 fingerlings were released into the lake to balance the ecosystem.

For the second project, armed with experience, the company began restoring the Annaikeni pond in Sholinganallur, in conjunction with Environmentalist Foundation of India. The work involved excavating to increase the water-holding area by nearly 20 per cent. To ensure that the ecosystem restoration is maintained, it formed a committee of local volunteers to keep an eye out for the wellbeing of the waterbody.

Grundfos’s ongoing project is the rejuvenation of the 100-acre Sembakkam lake, which flows into the Pallikaranai wetland, one of South India’s last remaining natural marshlands. Apart from funding partner Cognizant, the project is supported by The Nature Conservancy, Care Earth Trust, and IIT Madras. It entails civil works, including setting up a wastewater treatment plant.

“We have been working with the panchayat in the vicinity, as there are 10,000 households there, and we would like them to take ownership of the lake. There are other beautiful plans too — of walkways and a jogging park. We hope we can hand it over by November or December,” says Rajkumar.

Published on June 13, 2021

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