Help me, I want to live… The Story of a Lake

Hello Friends, I am Maduranthakam Aeri but no worries you can call me Madhu. Today I will tell you about myself and how I came into existence. Let us go back to the tenth century. This was the time when King Uttama Chola of the Chola Dynasty also known as Madhuranthakar, Don’t we sound the same. So he is my Father and created me to quench the thirst of the people living in Maduranthakam. I am also the home to Eri-Katha Ramar Temple which is dedicated to Lord Rama.

Now, I belong to the Chengalpattu District near the very famous bird sanctuary of Vedanthangal. I have got a lot of friends, the three rivers – Subam and Perungozhi who give me water, and Kiliyar who drains my water, they help me keep the flow of freshwater constant, and many avian visitors like storks, Egrets, Cormorants, and Darters, Flamingos, Pelicans, moorhens, herons, kingfishers, sandpipers, white ibis, spoonbills, swans and grey wagtails who meet me during the months of October to March.

I am the second largest lake (2400 acres) in Tamil Nadu, it is the state which has the highest number of lakes. I take pride in helping many villages nearby me. But due to climate change, Some days I overflow with water which troubles all the people who live near me and causes inundation in the agricultural lands in the surrounding villages. 😭😭 But during summers, I dry up and because of urbanization people encroach on my land which has decreased my storage capacity by 24% from 791 metric cubic feet to 530 metric cubic feet and I am becoming smaller and smaller every day.

My lake bed has been silted heavily and measures need to be taken to remove the silt. It is not only reducing my storage capacity but also the habitat of aquatic organisms who live in me. The silt excavated can be used to strengthen my structure by forming a bund in the foreshore area. It can also be used to raise the height of the lands in the foreshore area that are at risk of submerging when I fill up.

I need to be cleaned up and rejuvenated to store water. Residents of 38 surrounding villages would have better drinking water once I am restored.  This water from me will also likely be used to cater to Chennai’s needs.

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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