The Department of Water Resources (WRD) has proposed to develop Red Hills Lake as a tourist attraction and recently submitted a proposal to the Tiruvallur District Administration.
In an effort to encourage community participation in lake conservation, WRD has launched efforts to create a green belt on the vacant 30-acre site around the lake boundary and protect it from encroachment.
Built in 1876, the Red Hills Reservoir is one of the top five water bodies that meet Chennai’s drinking water needs.
Of the 830 million liters per day supplied with drinking water to the city, the Red Hills reservoir contributes nearly 270 bln. It is now overflowing with water, as the lake has a storage of 3,182 million cubic feet, or nearly 96.4% of its capacity.
WRD officials said about 400 saplings were recently planted on the lake boundary along the GNT road. WRD has partnered with the Department of Rural Development and various organizations including the Rotary Club of Alandur, the Social Work Team Trust (Swott) and several schools and colleges for this initiative.
“We wanted to secure the 30 acre site which is now free of encroachment and increase green cover and create recreational space around the water body. We have submitted a proposal and a design to develop the lake as a tourist site on the lines of the Poondi reservoir, ”said an official.
The WRD proposed to create a park with a children’s play area and a pond on the outskirts of the lake along the GNT road. Officials from the Tiruvallur district administration assured WRD that action would be taken to turn the lake into a tourist attraction, the official added.
V. Irulandi, former Senior Chief Forestry Officer and member of the Rotary Club of Alandur, said: “We aim to plant up to 1000 saplings at the site, which has been cleared of thick vegetation, around the area. Lake. We recently planted 12 varieties of native species, including neem, Iluppai, Magizham, Vengai and Indian gooseberry.
WRD is awaiting funds from the Tiruvallur district administration to develop the green space around the water body.