Rain, slush keep people indoors

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Residents of Ullagaram, Puzhuthivakkam, St Thomas Mount and several parts of Madipakkam hesitate to even step out of their homes these days due to waterlogged roads.

The Puzhuthivakkam Main Road was inundated with overnight rain and commuters had to travel through knee-deep slush. The lane connecting GST Road to St Thomas Mount, alongside which Metro Rail works are in progress, is another eye sore.

Most of these damaged roads have either been laid decades back or are new roads that have been damaged during underground drainage and water pipeline laying works.

Locals complain that accidents have increased in the locality owing to the damaged roads. Last week, a father and son slipped and fell from their bike and sustained grievous injuries, Shanmugham, a meat stall owner said that women were the worst affected as they not only struggled while riding bikes but even while walking as the roads had become too slippery.

Jayshree Sridhar, a resident of Ullagaram, said that the slush-filled roads had prevented her septuagenarian parents from going to the temple in the last few days.

The amenities in several other areas merged with the city corporation are also a far cry from what were promised during elections last year.

When contacted, a senior corporation official said that the state government had allotted additional funds to improve road infrastructure in suburban areas that have been recently merged with the city corporation.

Parts of Ullagaram, Puzhuthivakkam and Madipakkam will soon benefit from state government aid and new road works will gain momentum after monsoon, the official added.

Maintenance goes down the drain

Several drains in North and Central Chennai are completely blocked. “The toilets are becoming unusable due to backflow of sewers and the situation becomes bad even during slight drizzles. The recent rain has added to our woes,” complained a local.

Councillors also complain that Metro Water has been indifferent to public complaints. The Guindy Industrial Estate also stinks due to the clogged drains.

“Most of the time people call the Chennai Corporation for clearing sewer blocks. On a daily basis, I receive more than half a dozen complaints about sewer overflows and find it difficult guiding the public to contact Metro Water officials,” complained a City Corporation employee at the complaint cell in Ripon Buildings.

Mr Subash Chandra Bose, DMK floor leader in Chennai corporation, said, “Besides the public, even councillors lodge complaints directly to the Metro Water department, but no actions are taken. The number of flats and buildings in Central Chennai has almost doubled over the past decade but the drainage network is outdated. There is need for a major revamp and augmentation in the existing drainage connections.”

Mr K. Ramdoss, president, North Chennai Exnora Innovators Club said, “Timely maintenance of our existing waterways and drainage systems has become a thing of the past. The government is allowing more and more unscientific constructions to choke the existing sewer lines. Sewer overflows are rampant in Ayanvaram and several parts of Central Chennai.”

Admitting to having received complaints frequently, Metro Water officials attributed sewer overflows in the said areas to frequent power outage during peak hours at the sewage pumping stations.

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