Members of residents’ welfare associations, non-governmental organisations, have appealed to the Water Resources Department officials to rejuvenate Sadhuperi and Otteri, located on the outskirts of Vellore city.

These two lakes had perennial storage with water flowing from neighbouring hilly terrains and served as major irrigation sources. With a decrease in the extent of agricultural lands, these water bodies became drinking water sources for the residential colonies under the municipal corporation limits.

Volunteers pointed out that the Otteri lake has completely dried up and there were small patches of water left in Sadhuperi. Local residents used the water for fishing and washing vehicles.

“The water-holding area of Sadhuperi is contaminated due to discharge of sewage from households,” an activist from Konavattam said.

Residents living around Sadhuperi demanded that steps be taken to desilt and deepen the lake besides creating bunds abutting the four sides of the lake. “The outlet channel near Konavattam, is supposed to carry excess rainwater from the lake. However, the channel does not serve its purpose as it is choked with garbage, muck, broken bottles and construction debris,” a resident pointed out.

The rejuvenation work to be undertaken in 14 lakes supplying water for irrigation to 1,272.83 hectares was discussed at a meeting chaired by Collector A. Shanmuga Sundaram on Saturday.

But these waterbodies should be given preference for undertaking rejuvenation works as drinking water would become a big issue next year, residents said.

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