In a few years, many palm trees will form the boundary of waterbodies in Tiruvallur district.
In its attempt to put an end to the recurring encroachments, the Water Resources Department has decided to sow palm seeds in the foreshore area and boundary of 75 tanks in the first phase.
The department plans to plant 75,000 palm seeds along the lakes' boundary in association with Social Work Team Trust (SWOTT), a non-governmental organisation, and other government agencies, including Tiruvallur district administration, to mark 75 years of Independence.
Officials said there plans were on to plant 1,000 seeds along each waterbody. This would help restore ecological balance and demarcate boundary of the lakes that are vulnerable to encroachments and misuse.
Sekkadu lake in Avadi, Panappakkam Peria eri in Tiruttani taluk and those in Thirupachur, Punnapakkam, Egatur, Pattaraiperumbudur and Mappedu in Tiruvallur are some of the waterbodies chosen for the initiative.
Seeds would be sown with a gap of five feet along the foreshore area of Padianallur lake near Red Hills. Spread over 119 hectares, the lake has been turned into a garbage dump by tanker operators. About 7.5 hectares of the lake area has been encroached. Officials said the waterbody irrigated about 267 hectares of land in the neighbouring villages. "Palm trees will act as natural fence and put an end to encroachments that shift lake's boundary and also prevent sewage pollution," said an official.
S. Sameer of SWOTT said: "Our volunteers collect palm seeds from Tiruvallur district and coordinate with the department engineers for the initiative. We have distributed nearly 48,000 palm seeds since last year to various organisations. We had sowed 8,000 palm seeds in Red Hills reservoir last year. We want to plant 5,000 more seeds in a few months and develop it as a eco tourist site."
Sources said the revenue records of the waterbodies should be provided to the Water Resources Department to demarcate the boundary. The remaining rest of the 600 tanks in the district would be covered in the next phase.
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