A few days ago, when workers deputed by the Pallavapuram Municipality started construction work for a drain at Tiruttani Nagar, a neighbourhood off Radial Road in Old Pallavaram, the residents hoped that it would end the problem of open discharge of sewage. However, their hope was short-lived after they learnt that the local body is turning the canal into a stormwater drain channel without stopping the sewage discharge.
Residents say that a vacant plot at Kaveri Street on Third Main Road continues to be a sewage pool with the Municipality diverting waste water from areas such as Thiruchendur Nagar through an existing rainwater channel.
“The open canals were built to carry rainwater but they are filled with slush and garbage. We have been pleading the Municipality for more than three years to divert the sewage through an underground drainage network and restore these channels to carry only rainwater. However, the local body is constructing a stormwater drain on the vacant plot to connect it with the existing rainwater channel without putting an end to the sewage discharge,” says K. Srinivasan, president of Tiruttani Nagar Welfare Association.
Many months ago, the Municipality brought pipes to lay sewage pipelines, after repeated petitions from the residents, but they are lying buried in the slush. “The Municipality did not even start the pipeline work and the open plot and the rainwater channels have become breeding ground for mosquitoes. The situation has become worse after the recent rain,” he adds.
The Municipality has raised metal and concrete structures over the open drain, which starts at ARG Nagar, which is parallel to Kaveri Street. However, the drain is filled with slush.
“The effluence flows all the way up to Third Main Road and ends in another privately-owned vacant plot, where an illegal outlet has been created on the compound wall. The Association has sent many petitions to various government departments including the Chief Minister’s Cell, but we have not received any response. The project will only be a waste of money and will bring more trouble to the residents,” says the Association secretary V.A. Vellaisamy.
The residents want the local body to stop discharging sewage from other neighbourhoods in Tiruttani Nagar and dredge the existing rainwater channel.
When contacted, a senior official of the Pallavapuram Municipality claimed that only rainwater flows through the open drains and not sewage.
It may be recalled that on June 23, The Hindu Downtown published a report ‘A cesspool in their backyard’, where a former Municipality official said that the Municipality was expecting funds from the government to divert the sewage through an underground drainage network. The present official refused to comment on the status of the proposal.