Barely six months after the renovated Chetpet lake was opened to the public, the state government is planning to add more facilities for visitors. The move comes as the lake has become a popular getaway spot for residents in the middle of the city.
In a bid to increase patronage, the government will set up a solar-powered aquarium and a virtual reality centre at a cost of 6.75crore. It will also have a dome where 3D images and videos will be beamed for viewers. The lake has seen a huge turnout of visitors after it was restored at a cost of 42crore in February this year. Making the announcement to add more facilities at Chetpet Lake in the state assembly under rule 110 on Wednesday, chief minister J Jayalalithaa said the eco-park had become popular among the people. “An aquarium and an air-conditioned dome for a virtual reality centre will attract more visitors,” she said.
Sources said, “A 600sqm building will come up near the entrance and by the side of the boathouse at the Chetpet eco-park. The ground floor will have an aquarium where both marine and freshwater fish species will be on display. For this purpose, specially designed multiple chambers will be in place.”
On the first floor, the roof will have a dome-sized projection which will be a three-dimensional one. When the visitors look up at the roof, the images will give them a real-time experience of being inside a forest, sea or any other area. The focus will be on educating school and college children. The department had not fixed a date for the work to start, she said.
The park now had facilities for boating and sport fishing, a play area for children, cafeteria, multilevel car parking, a rainwater harvesting system and a walking track. The lake has become a popular getaway spot as people do not have to travel to the outskirts of the city to Muttukadu which is the nearest water park.
The lake was once one of the major source of water for central Chennai and it was also used as a fresh water fish breeding lake. It later fell into disuse after sewage was let into the lake illegally. and also turned into a dumping ground before it was renovated and restored into a water body spread over 16acres. Till the place was transformed into a picnic spot, the sewage water was the main reason which contaminated water. However, the same sewage water is now treated and used in the lake in the boating and fishing areas.