A cesspool in their backyard

At a superficial glance, the vacant plot at Kavery Street in Tiruttani Nagar in Old Pallavaram resembles a backyard pool. Unfortunately, it is a sewage pool.

The residents have no choice but to live with it, for their pleas and petitions to the local body officials and elected representatives seem to have prompted no action.

On March 22 this year, The Hindu Downtown published a report titled ‘Tiruttani Nagar drowning in sewage?’, highlighting the problem faced by the residents. An official from the Pallavapuram Municipality had then promised to put an end to sewage being released from other neighbourhoods into the private plot. However, the local body seems to have maintained status quo.

“In fact, the flow of sewage has increased in the last three months. The pipes that were brought to lay a sewer network are still lying buried in the cesspool. We see no signs of the work taking off,” says K. Srinivasan, president of Tiruttani Nagar Welfare Association.

The effluence snakes its way through the stormwater drain channels on Third Main Road and disappears into another vacant plot, also a private property, where an illegal outlet has been created on the compound wall.

“The open sewer is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We can’t even open our windows and doors to enjoy the cool breeze in the evenings in this scorching summer, thanks to the overpowering stench and the swarming mosquitoes. We can’t imagine the health risks this pool of sewage can cause once the monsoon sets in ,” adds Srinivasan.

The Municipality official says that a proposal has been sent to the government seeking funds to divert the sewage through an underground drainage network.

The official, who has been transferred to the Tambaram Municipality promised to apprise his successor of the issue and follow up with the department concerned at the Secratariat.

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