Ambattur residents speak about issues surrounding storing rain water

Chennai: Monsoon has arrived and it brings with it good amount of rainfall. Ambattur has been a recipient of decent showers this past week like many parts of the State.

Naturally, many low-lying areas of the neighbourhood saw waterlogging even with brief spells of rain. With the storm water drain construction yet to be completed in many parts, this time too, rainwater might go untapped, said residents.

But the attitude towards rain has changed and crucially it has been among the masses, they say. Many residents News Today spoke with had positive news to report.

“We struggled with the water scarcity big time. Even with so many waterbodies around, we failed to maintain them and left them to fall prey to encroachments. This time though, we learnt our lesson. I saw many residents taking it upon themselves to construct rainwater harvesting systems in the houses and many have reported at least some catchment, which is a good sign. Now, people know how to store water and recharge dried up borewells. They have understood that it is worth its weight in gold,” said Harikrishna, a resident of Ambattur.

For Babu, another resident, the government should do more. “Constructing SWDs are great. But they are being used to let sewage in because there is no sewer connection to the houses in the neighbourhood. With the area developing fast, authorities should also speed up their work and provide approvals fast. The sewage in the SWDs are taken to waterbodies only to contaminate remaining water there. If that is the case, what purpose will desilting the waterbodies do?”

Residents say they have no choice but to let sewage in the SWDs. “We did not get approval for sewage connection yet. It has been at least a couple of years in waiting. Officials say there are complications. The more they delay, the more things will go south. Spending public tax money to correct a problem that could have been avoided seems trivial in practice to me. Sadly though, that is the reality,” said Nagaraj, a resident of Korattur.

Residents want the situation to be handled better for the betterment of the society.

Praveen Kumar S