Unauthorised constructions choking sewage network

For residents of Selvapuram Housing Unit and Kallamedu, the civic problems they complain about stand as tall as, if not taller than, the apartments they live in. The first and foremost is the absence of a safe outlet for sewage.

For more than a year now, the civic body has failed to attend to the problem of stagnant sewage.

The sewage is from toilets in houses in the area. The sewage that gets collected in the place that was once a tank has nowhere to flow on to.

The sewage network is choked, says S. Geetha, a resident who has been living there for close to 25 years.

The reason for the network getting choked is unauthorised constructions. The houses that have come up without permission are on the very places where the sewage pipes crisscrossed the area, adds Zohra Banu, another resident.

There are other similar places in the area where the sewage remains stagnant much to the residents’ discomfort.

They say the Coimbatore Corporation could easily solve the problem by linking the tanks there to its underground drainage network but is not doing so citing one reason or another.

Ward Councillor A. Sadiq Ali says that the official response to his queries on the issue has been that it was the responsibility of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board to provide the link between the septic tanks in the area and the civic body’s UGD system because it was the Board that constructed the tenements and provided the sewerage system.

The Board officials, however, say that since there is plan to demolish and reconstruct the tenements, it is difficult to provide the link. Caught between the two standpoints, the residents suffer, he laments.

The problem in Kallamedu is that there are no toilets. The residents, particularly women are forced to defecate under the cover of bushes in the nearby graveyard.

After sunset it is difficult and the women are forced to go out in groups, laments M. Rukhia Bi, a resident of 32 years.

She says that the residents do not expect any help except a connection to the underground system for the residents to construct their toilets. “We do not want financial help. Only a link to the UGD system.”

Her neighbour K. Valliammal says that the residents there have power connection, public distribution system cards, voters identity but no toilets.

Mr. Ali says that he has raised the issue in the Corporation Council to no avail. Official sources say that there is no place to construct toilets in the locality.

The next of the residents’ grievance is the absence of a mechanism to dispose of garbage. An old well serves as the dumping spot.

The residents say that if the Corporation were to clean the place once and establish a park, they are ready to do the follow up and maintain the locality.

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