Tamil Nadu plans industrial zone on catchment area of one of Chennai's biggest water reservoirs
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Tamil Nadu plans industrial zone on catchment area of one of Chennai's biggest water reservoirs

By New Indian Express calender  07-Aug-2019

Tamil Nadu plans industrial zone on catchment area of one of Chennai's biggest water reservoirs

At a time when Chennai is facing a severe water crisis, a State agency is trying to build a huge industrial zone on the catchment area of Red Hills reservoir, a primary water source for the city.
Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation Limited has applied for reclassification of 53 acres of the catchment area of Red Hills reservoir to build an industrial zone for women entrepreneurs, according to officials. The application has been submitted on August 3 to the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), the planning authority of the city.
Spread across 4,500 acres, Red Hills (also known as Puzhal Reservoir) is one of Chennai’s largest water source. With a total capacity of 3,300 Million Cubic Feet, this reservoir has been providing water for the city even during times of drought. A part of Krishna River water which is released from Andhra Pradesh is also stored in this reservoir.
The catchment area surrounding any reservoir plays a crucial part as run-off rainwater will reach the storage point as small streams or creeks through the catchment area. For this to happen, the area must be bereft of any construction which might cut-off its flow. Experts said encroachment on this area will ultimately result in floods, like the one the city witnessed in 2015. This will also reduce the amount
of rainwater the reservoir receives.
Environmental activists strongly condemn the government’s move and said such developments will help in legalising encroachments on water bodies which are on the brink of disappearing in the city. “Parties that have an objection with the said reclassifications are never called for a meeting with the authorities. Also, CMDA doesn’t furnish the reasons behind the conversion of a water body nor does it communicate with dissenting parties. Now OSR and agricultural land are also being given up for industries and flats to come up,” said David Manohar, an activist from the Arappor Iyakkam.

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