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Renovation of Gundur lake in Tiruchi gathering pace

INDRenovation of Gundur lake in Tiruchi gathering pace

A view of the partially renovated Gundur Lake on the Tiruchi-Pudukottai National Highway.

The second phase of the project to renovate the Gundur lake, one of the biggest in Tiruchi district, to attract native and migratory birds will begin soon.

Spread over 544 acres, the lake situated on the Tiruchi-Pudukottai National Highway has about 25 man-made islands in different shapes with bird-friendly infrastructure. The project is being executed by Mega Foundations with the financial contribution of Herbalife International. It is estimated that it would cost ₹46 lakh for the complete makeover of the lake.

The restoration drive, which was launched in September 2023, was completed in January and is the NGO’s 177th project.

In the first phase of the project, 25 man-made islands had been created with boundaries around them, seemai karuvelam (Prosopis juliflora) trees on nearly 300 acres have been cleared and desilting of the lake bed has been completed.

Around 500 student volunteers from schools and colleges were engaged in the project. In addition to the excavators, experts, skilled workers and 20 labourers were used to desilt and form mounds with the provision to attract birds.

The islands, in different shapes and sizes, have been planted with a variety of saplings that aid in the growth of a natural ecosystem. About 10,000 saplings of various native species that will attract birds, bees, and butterflies with their blooms and fruits were planted on the islands.

Initially, the plants were watered using the lake as a source. Since there was no adequate rainfall last year and the lake dried up in summer, about 1,500 litres of water in two tanks were bought to water the plants.

Out of 544 acres of the lake bed, improvements were made to 370 acres. “Work on clearing the remaining area, which is under encroachments, and setting up walking tracks would be launched soon,” said Nimal Raghavan, founder of Mega Foundations.

The project will be carried out in three phases and is expected to be completed in 2025. “We are awaiting CSR funding to carry out the rest of the work,” Mr. Raghavan added.

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