Delay in stormwater drain works in Chennai worry residents

Chennai: For the last few weeks, the residents of Anna Nagar West Extension in the city are being subjected to undue hardship as the stormwater drains in their area overflows every time it rains for more than a few minutes.

The residents brought this to the attention of ‘News Today’. After inspecting the area and talking to them, we discovered that the reason for this was the slow progress of work in constructing a concrete pathway for a minor canal (nullah) that runs behind Millennium Park and connects to the Cooum near Rohini Theatre.

Explaining the problem, president of Anna Nagar Western Extension Association, Dr K S Palaniswamy, said,”The stormwater lines on either side of the nullah – Anna Nagar Western Extension on east and Mugappair on the west – all drain into the nullah which runs parallel to Park Road and cuts across the Ambattur Estate Road.”

“While the work on the nullah on the northern side of Ambattur Estate Road is complete, that on the southern side is far from over. So, the outflow of water is very negligible relative to the inflow when it rains. This makes the stormwater stagnate on the northern side, near the Anna Nagar West Extension area. This has led to inundation of streets, Millennium Park and other low-lying places in the locality,” Dr Palaniswamy explained.

The Anna Nagar Western Extension Association building in the Millennium Park was also flooded with dirty water during the recent rain.

Gokul, another resident, said,”Work on the concretisation of the nullah was started pretty late. When we expressed our doubts over its timely completion, the officials assured us that it would be over before the rain starts. Unfortunately, that is not the case today.”

“Recently, when we asked them again, the officials said it will take more than two months to complete the concrete-laying work on the southern side of the nullah till the Cooum river,” he added, with worry.

To add to their miseries, the underground Metro Water lines in the area are also old and might be broken at a few places. This has led to the dirty inundated water to seep into the ground and mix with Metro Water and contaminating it.

Dr Palaniswamy said the officials should have consulted the residents before starting such a major work.

“We are long-time residents of the area and we know the place inside out. We have engineers in our midst. Had we been consulted, we would have warned them of the problems that might arise and we could have prevented this situation,” he lamented.

Anna Nagar Western Extension belongs to Zone 7 and Wards 88 and 90 of the Chennai Corporation. The residents request the authorities to find a quick and long-lasting solution for their problems.

A Harsha Vardhan