“The revival and transformation of the lake was a model of good governance and symbol of the strength of collective working. It is a dream come true and will benefit the people of the area.” – Kiran Bedi
This 165-acre lake found on the outskirts of Puducherry survived our times, unlike many others which makes it a tale worth telling: for not under four years ago, the poor condition of this lake was a distressing sight to behold. Even though it was the major source of groundwater for the areas near Mudaliarpet and Komabakkam, this large and largely undervalued lake was open to defecation and dumping of plastic until October 2016. With the amount of garbage thrown into the Lake every year, it seemed like we would lose yet another significant waterbody to human intervention.
Upon the appointment of the Lieutenant Governor, Kiran Bedi, things started to change for the better. In a way, she motivated the general public of Pondicherry to take ownership of their lake. The public seemed to have been moved into action by her ambition and thanks to their collective efforts and the efforts of various environmental groups, the lake has been purged of all its plastic and has been declared as eco-tourism park.
The boating services provided by the lake will only serve to motivate the community further as they see the lake come to life with the return of various species of birds and fish.
A fence has been erected around the lake and various species of local plants such as Bougainvillea, Peltophorum, Cassia Tora, Pongamia, Anthocephalus Cadamba were planted around the lake with the help of volunteers to attract more migratory birds. Various other features such as recreational fishing, park benches, and better public toilets are expected to come up in the near future. Some stories do have happy endings after all.
Want to pay a visit?
Here is where to find this lake:
It is about 3 hours away from the metropolis of Chennai and on the outskirts of the former French colony of Puducherry.
By Snehaa S.