Corporation yet to complete underground drainage work

Every now and then Bilal Nagar resident Sadiq Basha has unwelcome visitors to his house: the reptiles from the nearby slush or sewage pond.

It is difficult to live with such visitors especially for families with children, he says. The grocery store worker has been there for close to eight months now and has seen enough. During the monsoon it is worse as snakes and other reptiles invade the houses in groups, thanks to the increase in water level.

The sewage pond, Mr. Basha is talking about is near the Ukkadam sewage treatment plant and has been formed after the Corporation-formed bund caved in. The civic body built sand bunds to convey sewage flowing in from the old city areas to the treatment plant.

The bund caved in about 15 days ago leading to water stagnation at two places, both of which are close to houses, complains Ward 86 Councillor A. Sadik Ali. He says he had complained to Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy, who had asked the Assistant Commissioner, South Zone, P. Ganeshwaran to attend to the complaints. Nothing much has happened since then, he rues. The inaction has made life difficult for residents like Doulat Nisha, who lives near the stagnant sewage. Odour, mosquito menace and pollution of ground water are the biggest issues, says Nisha, who lives there for over 25 years.

Things turn for the worse in the mornings when the Corporation lets out sewage into the canal as the odour is unbearable. People will just have to exit the houses for fresh air.

Anbu Nagar resident Faizal Rahman says that the sewage has polluted the ground water as bore well water is coloured and carries a foul odour. It is difficult to use the water for bathing or washing.

The canal with bunds first conveyed water to the sewage farm in Ukkadam, where the Corporation raised grass for cattle. Now it diverts the water to the sewage treatment plant, which it has built at Rs. 55 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Renewal Mission scheme.

Mr. Ponnusamy says that that he has asked the JNNURM engineers to immediately address the issue by repairing the bunds so as to ensure flow of water to the treatment plant.

Superintending Engineer K. Boopathy says that the Corporation was engaged in laying pipeline to convey the sewage. Once the Corporation completes the pipeline laying work sewage will flow through the pipeline and the complaints like stagnation can be avoided.

Meanwhile, the Corporation will strengthen the bunds. One of the reasons for the frequent caving in of the bunds is two-wheeler riders using it as a shortcut to reach their houses.

The sewage treatment plant has a capacity to treat 70 million litres sewage a day. At present, it is treating close to 20 mld as the Corporation is yet to complete the underground drainage work.

The treated water from the plant will flow to the nearby grass farm.

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