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Last Updated : Oct 11, 2019 08:07 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Abandoned lake in Tamil Nadu revived, thanks to Modi-Xi Jinping meet

A non-profit organisation called the ‘Environmentalist Foundation of India’ joined hands with the Kancheepuram district administration and began efforts to revive the water body

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It is time for environmental activists and conservationists to celebrate the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in Tamil Nadu’s coastal town of Mamallapuram, or Mahabalipuram as it was earlier called.

Only months after several pockets in Tamil Nadu grappled with acute water shortage, a water body in the state was resuscitated, especially for the PM’s visit.

A near-dry lake in Mahabalipuram was revived on priority as a part of the massive clean-up and beautification drive that was conducted ahead of the two-day summit between the leaders of the two countries.

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This is the second informal meet arranged between Modi and Jinping; the last time they met was at Wuhan summit in 2018.

The waterbody named Koneri lake, close to the Light House and an ancient monument complex, is one of the last freshwater reserves left in Mamallapuram. The lake was named Koneri after Ko (cow) and Neri (lake) since it looked like a sitting cow from a distance.

According to an NDTV report, even though the lake is located close to Krishna’s Butter Ball – a rock formation that is one of the main tourist attractions in the area – no one ever visited the lake. It was almost dying due to neglect as it had led to excess growth of weeds over the past two decades and the water level had gone down too.

Then, a non-profit organisation called the ‘Environmentalist Foundation of India’ joined hands with the Kancheepuram district administration and began efforts to revive the water body. The NGO, which has restored several similar waterbodies in the past, set the informal summit as the deadline to complete the work.

The mammoth task involved removing construction debris, plastic waste, invasive weeds, etc. from the bed of the lake. They began with deepening the lake first, to construct percolation canals inside it, which led to three recharge wells. Then, the earthen embankments around it were strengthened.

The success of the project turned out to be a milestone for them, marking the 100th major waterbody they saved in India. Now, Koneri is ready for the northeast monsoons, proving how community-based water conservation efforts can prove effective in the country.

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First Published on Oct 11, 2019 08:07 pm
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