The Samuel Nagar Pond Restoration

The waterbody is located in Samuel Nagar in the northern suburbs of Chennai. The 0.65 acres-sized pond was in bad shape. Weeds grew all over the water. The bunds lost their structure. In addition, lots of waste from the neighbouring waste sorting unit was able to be found inside the water. Invasive bush species, like the Prosopis joliflora, grew massively next to the bunds. The water holding capacity was reduced due to big amounts of silt.

The pond filled with weeds, to the right Prosopis joliflora

A restoration was deeply needed in order to revive the Samuel Nagar pond. The restoration started by measuring the area in order to make scientific restoration possible.

The mechanical work started on the 2nd of March. As a first step invasive weeds and garbage got removed. This was done to clear the space, improve the water holding capacity and to be able to start deepening the waterbody. As invasive species, the Prosopis joliflora is mainly found here. The plant was introduced to meet the high need for wood for burning in the past. But till date, the plant has encroached nearly every waterbody repressing native species. The removal of the invasive species is therefore also needed to let native species grow again.

Removal of invasive weeds

In a second step de-silting and deepening of the Samuel Nagar pond was able to start. Over the years without maintaining a high amount of silt formed on the pond bed. To reach the goal of increasing the water holding capacity, the waterbody was deepened by 2.5 ft to 4 ft around. The excavated silt was later used to form and strengthen the bunds around.

Deepening and De-silting

The bunds are formed at different heights. The water gets collected in the middle, improving groundwater percolation. Off-shore and on-shore bunds have been introduced to strengthen the same. Two inlets, one from eastern and one from south-western direction, were restored. During heavy rains, water can now properly enter the pond and because of the bund formation, the water can be saved for drier periods of the year.

Bund formation

Still, plastics and other non-degradable waste can get into the pond. A fence is needed to prevent any further encroachments. This will be done in the following days. In addition, plantation works will start. Only saplings of native trees will be planted, in order to establish an original habitat.

Volunteer for India & her environment with E.F.I. ~Jai Hind~

Published by LakesOfIndia

Lakes of India is an E.F.I initiative aimed at sensitizing the larger public on freshwater habitats across the country. A blog platform where one can read about lakes across India. You can become a guest blogger to write about a lake in your hometown and initiate an action to protect that lake.

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