Chennai: A seemingly well-thought decision to remove encroachments along a canal, at Chrompet in the city suburb has now turned awry after the place is being replaced with a tar road, instead of the originally intended move to replenish the waterbody.
According to sources, a recent anti-encroachment drive by the Pallavaram Municipality, resulted in the eviction of around 12 families living along a canal passing through Shanti Nagar.
But, much to the dismay of everyone, the debris of the demolished homes remains untouched.
It was learnt that the link canal connects Veeraraghavan and Pallavaram lakes, which were being encroached for the past 25 years.
When expected that the local body will deepen the canal to carry stormwater to its rightful place, a twist in the story occurred last Friday.
The Municipal workers instead brought a road roller to lay a new road here, leaving residents of Kattabomman Street, Velayutham Street and Ammani Ammal Street to be caught in the same web of sorrows again.
“The entire area goes underwater in the monsoon because the link is disconnected here. The new facility will eat up a huge share of the space sparing only three feet to carry stormwater works,”said V Ramanujam, an advocate and a resident of Kattabomman Street.
“The corporates are behind this plan. Soon, I will file a writ petition in this regard,” he added.
The authorities in the Municipality meanwhile acknowledge that a complaint was received pertaining to the construction of a road.
“We have to look up as to which department this project falls under,” said an official on anonymity, even as residents claim that it is the Municipality that transports raw materials to the site.
According to ex-Municipal Commissioner DS Sivasamy, “The Pallavaram Municipality is answerable to the people as it comes under its jurisdiction. We have deepened the canal when I was serving the post. But this is a heinous crime to narrow a waterbody. We strongly suspect that road is being built hand-in-glove with politicians, bureaucrats and corporates.”
“The under-construction road will connect Kattabomman Street and Shanti Nagar 2nd Main Road. It will open up a major portion of residential Chrompet to shopping complexes on GST Road,” he added.