Snails crossing: Tread carefully

OMR Sights 025Padur lake viewed from my 9th floor apartment on Chennai’s  OMR

I have heard Padur residents get water supplied from a  lake in their backyard. Truckloads of water Mantri Synergy residents used to get before borewells in their complex got  activated was,  presumably,  sourced from this lake.  Oddly enough,  I didn’t, till now,  bring myself to visiting  the lake that I can view  from my high-rise.  Trip to the lake entails a walk through narrow, not so clean,  street through  Padur.    A  lakeside walk early this morning proved educative, if  thought-provoking. Winding our way through the unmade road my wife and I felt  embarrassed, on occasions,  at,  what may well be a common sight for the locals .  It was as if, with our appearance,  we intruded on the early morning  routine of some people. Their tell-tale movement  close to the lake, so early in the day,  suggest the following:
1) There is a crying need for a row of public toilets, well watered through a pipeline  from the lake,  for the benefit of those now using lakeside bushes for the purpose.
2) The water body needs to be fenced off in populated segments , making  it inaccessible to public.
3) The muddy pathway that runs along the lake is so littered with snails that there is case for a signpost, saying,  ‘Snails Crossing: Tread/Drive Carefully’.

Snails, out and about in scores, had the run of the road , in early mornings. Snails, they say, move about at night, and hibernate during the day. They detest brightness of the sun. And before the sun came up the snails seem to be ‘hurrying’ to their hideouts. Speaking of snail’s pace, they say  the fastest of the species can move 50 yards per hour.

The need for fencing off the lake can’t be overstated. Tamil Nadu water  supply undertaking has a pumping station that was put up five years back  under a community drinking water supply scheme  funded by the Asian Development Bank.  Lake-fencing, and provision of public toilets, which might not have been necessary when the drinking water scheme was launched,  in 2008,  now appears  critical to the continued  survival of the lake as a source of water for the ever growing Padur and its OMR neighbourhood.

Suggestion: Engineering students/faculty in neighbourhood  institutions such as Hindustan University  and Mohd. Sathak Engineering College can take up Padur lake improvement as a class project. The project report they come up with can become a campaign theme for OMR Greens for mobilizing public support for implementation of the lake conservation scheme.

Snails ln the lakeside road


Sourced from OMR Resident