Battle against stormwater drains resumes

In recent times, we have noticed how of a few coastal areas in Chennai, especially Besant Nagar, are W in their demand that stormwater drains (SWDs) “stay out” of their localities. The latest evidence of this comes from Besant Nagar First Avenue, opposite the Besant Nagar bus terminus.

Recently, they repeated their request to the Corporation that stormwater drain construction work should not be taken up at Besant Nagar First Avenue.

They contend that constructing stormwater drains in coastal areas like Besant Nagar is a waste of money. It may be noted that recently, rainwater recharge wells, and not stormwater drains, were constructed along Elliots Beach Road to prevent inundation. C. Pattammal Chandrasekhar, social activist and a long-time resident of Besant Nagar, says, “Besant Nagar First Avenue already has rainwater recharge wells, which were constructed to prevent water stagnation on the road. Now, we don’t have water logging, so why invest in SWDs?”

Residents say construction of an SWD network on the road will not only be a waste of money, but also inconvenience road users for nothing.

It may be noted that members of Spark, a civic forum, and residents of Besant Nagar, twice stopped the construction of SWD work, only to see the work being taken up again.

In November, 2018 The Hindu Downtown had reported that residents had requested GCC not to take up the work.

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