A 600-foot drain stretch on the Kalapatti Road is at the centre of contention between the Nehru Nagar residents and the Coimbatore Corporation. The issue came to the fore recently when the residents protested against the execution of the work and petitioned the officials concerned.
N. Nagarajan, urban district deputy secretary, Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam, and a resident of the area, said that the residents’ objection was not to the construction per se but the timing of the construction.
He said that the residents’ demand was for a survey by the State Highways Department to mark the road boundaries, eviction of encroachments and then construction of drain and necessarily in that order.
He argued that the Corporation, by going in for the construction of the drain, created a situation where the encroachments were more or less legalised and eviction remained near impossible.
The road helped people reach the Mettupalayam Road to proceed to Ooty, housed many colleges and was a main thoroughfare for people on the eastern fringes of the city. Mr. Nagarajan also said that the other issue of concern to the residents was the damage to the pedestrian pathway. In the run up to the 2010 World Classical Tamil Conference, the then Kalapatti Town Panchayat had laid the pedestrian pathway using paver blocks, which, to date, remained intact and served the purpose. Now, in 2012, within two years of the conduct of the Conference, it was unfair on the part of the Coimbatore Corporation to remove those to construct the drain.
He reiterated that if the Corporation were to take up the drain construction work after asking the Highways Department to mark the road boundaries and removing encroachments, it would also help save money.
Such a move would also prevent accidents as the narrow stretches would no longer exist.
The Coimbatore Corporation had started the work only after adopting proper procedure. The Corporation surveyor identified the alignment for the drain and only thereafter did the contractor start executing the work, said Ward 35 Councillor B. Senthil.
The Coimbatore Corporation is constructing drain along the Kalapatti Main Road for Rs. 35 lakh. The Councillor also said that the drain was deep enough to take the sewage from residential colonies on the east of it and drain them down south.