Pallavaram municipal chairman has been directed by the national green tribunal not to dump garbage into Pallavaram Lake. A Madipakkam resident S.P. Surendranath Karthik, who petitioned the tribunal has also claimed damages under the 'polluter pays' principle. But then the civic body would argue that dumping has been happening for decades. Besides the municipal waste collectors aren't the only culprit. Decades of dumping truckloads of trash from elsewhere may well have contributed to the current mess.
Upshot is: Pallavaram Lake, spread over 300 acres, is shrinking, and whatever remains of the water spread, in the southern part of the lake, is said to have turned toxic. The lake is the prime source of drinking water for residents in neighbourhood localities.
The case before the green tribunal ought to serve as a wake-up call to Padur-Kelambakkam residents on OMR. They need to take steps to prevent Padur and Muthukkadu lakes going the Pallavaram way. Stakeholders - developers, residents associations and panchayat bodies - should come together to explore possibilities. Which include a co-ordinated approach to 1) check further lake pollution through people-panchayat monitoring system; and 2) evolve effective waste management and sewage processing/recycling system to cover the residential areas around Padur and Muthukkadu lakes
OMR Greens, a community service initiative, can play a role in facilitating the process of mobilising public awareness and in connecting communities to work out a joint programme to address issues of common concern.