Selva Chinthamani tank in Coimbatore remains neglected for months, raising concerns among daily walkers, who visit the water body The tank was developed by Coimbatore Corporation at a cost of ₹31.47 crore under the Smart Cities Mission (SCH) in 2019 and is spread over 29 acres of land.
Located on the western portion of Coimbatore, the tank is downstream to Marudamalai forest and is situated north of the Noyyal river. It receives around 100 visitors per day but the numbers have been on the decline due to poor maintenance, security personnel at the tank said.
Despite the completion of development work at the tank, it has only been on the path to degradation, Rangarajan, head of the Selva Chinthamani Walkers’ Association, said.
“A large stretch of the walking path around the lake has non-functioning street lights, leaving walkers fearful of taking a stroll in the evenings. Snakes have been sighted in the region and people have seen anti-social elements at night. CCTV cameras around the tank stopped working months ago, so safety is of concern,” he said.
The association has petitioned the Corporation multiple times over the last three months to get basic amenities installed or repaired. However, officials have remained unresponsive.
While the tank premises includes a sewage treatment plant (STP) that looks shiny from the outside, it has not been turned on for the last couple of months, daily visitors say. Owning to this, water that flows into the tank from Muthannankulam, which gets mixed with sewage from neighbouring colonies, is untreated. At the same time, passers-by have been dumping waste into the outlet point, just short of where the catchment area begins.
“It is very difficult to regulate this kind of waste disposal. The least that can be done is to install a sign board that cautions people about throwing waste into the tank area. We are planning to do it ourselves because nobody else will,” said A. Natarajan, a member of the association and a daily visitor.
Another concern raised by frequent visitors to the tank is that the public toilets installed within the premises have remained locked for months and the public has no access to them.
“The toilets are of good quality but we have not been able to use them. It causes a lot of inconvenience, so many walkers have stopped coming to the tank,” said R. M. Palanivel, who recently had to stop visiting the tank due to the lack of functioning toilets.
However, upon enquiring about the delay in repair and poor maintenance, the contract manger of the tank told The Hindu that, “We are sourcing spare parts to fix the STP and repair work will be carried out in a week’s time.”
Officials from the Engineering Department also responded saying the Corporation has recently sanctioned the cleaning of the inlet and outlet portions and the restoration of the STP. “Work is expected to begin in a week’s time and we will complete it by October 15. We will also ensure that the bathrooms are reopened,” the official said.