Vadapalani residents ask better stormwater drains, roads for monsoon

Chennai: With rains lashing city for the past few days, the Meteorological Department announced the onset of North-East monsoon this week across Tamilnadu. Residents in the neighbourhood are in hopes of a beneficial season. Resident Welfare Associations have taken steps to rope in rainwater harvesting systems in their homes while some activists continue to promote the cause of saving water.

Conserving first
VP Amarnath, a social activist based in Valasaravakkam through his initiative, ‘iSquare’, creates awareness on rainwater harvesting to residents. Speaking with News Today, he says, “I was deeply affected by the 2015 floods.” He was one of the many volunteers who worked on to bring normalcy in the city. “That was when I met Sekhar Raghavan sir from Rain Centre,” recalls Amarnath. ‘He is an expert on rainwater harvesting. Under his guidance, I learned more.’ Amarnath also works along with Agaram Foundation to spread the message. “My team and I distribute pamphlets among citizens,’ he says. ‘We go door-to-door, directly going to people’s home and share our expertise.”

Better roads
Residents demand better roads as many in locality inundate. One such street that gets frequently affected is Bakthavatsalam Colony. Here, people face tough time as poor roads and garbage dumping are a menace. Located near the Gangai Amman Koil, Bakthavatsalam Colony is a neighbourhood that connects Vadapalani Murugan Temple, the Muthu Mariamman Koil and other prime temples. “The roads are always riddled by potholes and rocks,” says Chandran, a resident. “We have complained to authorities many times but no action has ever been taken.” They also ask for better traffic regulations and SWD at sensitive spots such as Jawaharlal Main Road.

Drain game
Our neighbourhood comes under the Kodambakkam Corporation Zone. According to a data released by the Chennai Corporation, about 631 stormwater drains to a length of 172.58 km were constructed here of which 65 drains (13.91 km long) are at Virugambakkam, 55 drains (12.47 km long) are at Saligramam and 32 drains (7.73 km long) are at Vadapalani. In a recent address to media, Corporation Commissioner G Prakash had announced that the Chennai Corporation will desilt stormwater drains in two weeks to prevent waterlogging. Another report said that the corporation will station relief boats at 109 locations across the city.

Mohammed Rayaan