Chembarambakkam Lake
Tamil Nadu

Chembarambakkam Lake is located in Chengalpattu district, about 40 km from Chennai. The Adyar River originates from this rainwater fed lake. The lake is one of the major sources of drinking water in the city. The major threats are the growth of water hyacinth and pollution from the surrounding catchment area. The state government also proposed an industrial park in the neighbouring area.

P. Raju, president of Welfare Association of Chembarambakkam Lake Drinking Water Consumers moved the Madras High Court in 2007 to save the lake.


This case (W.P. No.26314 of 2007 and M.P. Nos.1 & 2 of 2008) has been settled in the Madras HC. The followings are the highlights of court judgement, government and citizens' actions.

Study was done by the scientists A. Surendran and V.E. Nethaji Mariappan using remote sensing data. In the beginning of the year, the hyacinth was concentrated only on the central and southern part of the lake, the spread increased by December. Of the 656.43 hectares of the lake, the dense aquatic cover has taken over nearly 333 hectares.
P. Raju, president of Welfare Association of Chembarambakkam Lake Drinking Water Consumers in Chennai City, files a Public Interest Litigation against the state government. The government proposed to build an industrial park near Chembarambakkam Lake.
The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice K. Chandru, granted the interim injunction on the construction.
On September 2nd, that is just few days after the notification of the second master plan of the Chennai city, the first set of major changes for the lake has been forced by a government order (G.O. No.190, Housing and Urban Development Department). Lands near Chembarambakkam Lake were identified as ayacut lands and classified as agricultural use.
In June, S Nandakumar of Kuthambakkam South, Poonamallee block filed a PIL challenging the Government's decision to set up an Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility (ISWMF) in the village. The village is a part of the catchment area to this water body.

The Madras High Court has said that no dumping of garbage can be done until further orders.