Odaima Nagar residents help clean their locality

Chennai: Residents of Odaima Nagar who received no help from the civic body, in clearing heaps of garbage from their neighbourhood, have finally decided to take matters into their own hands.

From morning till evening, the residents assist in getting the debris and other waste cleared from their mud-paved streets and the shore.

After being plagued by civic issues for a long time, the members had recently formed the Odaima Nagar Residents Welfare Association, it is learnt.

Rajshekar, an office-bearer said, “We waited for officials to clean our locality. We have WhatsApp audios clips where they promised us action, but never did anything. Eventually, we arranged for a JCB and the Corporation stepped in and got us a lorry to transport the waste.”

Even as Besant Nagar beach is often known for being well-maintained, the sands of Odaima Nagar present a different story. With locals doing the pending work themselves, 30 tonnes of waste was scooped out in a single day, with the entire proceedings carried out over a span of one week.

“Most of the waste included debris of demolished buildings, huts, and garbage from homes. People here build thatched houses and once these wear out, they make no attempts to clear the same,” said Mani, a resident.

It is said that all the locals pooled in to pay for the JCB. “We spent eight hours on clearing, with the cost amounting to Rs 7,000 per day,” Rajshekar stated.

After the clean-up, the association noted that it is going to be strict about littering in the area and that fines would be imposed on those not abiding by the rules. Another reason being that on 12 July, is the Byandiamman Koil Thiruvizha. “The residents want to ensure that the neighbourhood is clean for the temple festival,” he pointed out.

Cleaning work under way at Odaima Nagar.

Photo: A R Jayakumar

Naomi N