Aggrieved residents say the road was dug up four years ago for re-laying, but the process stopped with the provision of just the metal top

Eighty-one-year-old K.P. Subramaniam needs to undergo treatment for a block in the artery in the heart. But, he cannot step out of his house because no autorickshaw or taxi or any other form of transport will dare enter a portion of the G.K. Sundaram Street in K.K. Pudur.

Close to 100 feet of the street is an absolute mess. Aggrieved residents say the road was dug up four years ago for re-laying. But, the process stopped with the provision of just the metal top. Then it was dug up again for laying underground drainage lines.

“We cannot walk on this street when it rains,” says Annie Coupillai, whose husband is confined to the house, while he should be walking a short distance every day as per medical advice. Shanth Coupillai has undergone a brain surgery after being knocked down by a vehicle.

Mr. Subramaniam and Mr. Coupillai are symbols of the plight of about 50 families on the affected portion of the street. When cars and vans get stuck in the slush, how will autorickshaws enter this street, asks Ms. Pillai. “We dread to think what could happen if one of us has a medical emergency. The ambulance cannot enter the street,” says B. Shanthamani, a tenant in one of the houses. “Can we carry sick persons through the slush?”

“The road has run into one kind of problem or the other for the last four years. “We are virtually cut off from the rest of K.K. Pudur because of the condition of the street,” K. Natarajan laments.

The residents allege that their fervent appeal to the Coimbatore Corporation officials have been in vain. They accuse Ward 12 councillor R. Gayathri of ignoring their plight. “I had campaigned for her (Ms. Gayathri) during the elections. And, this is what we have got,” says R. Chitra, pointing at the road.

The councillor refutes charges of neglect, but admits there is delay on the part of those carrying out the drainage work. “I have taken up the case of the road with the Mayor and Corporation Commissioner. My sympathies are with the residents, but we need to provide them a lasting solution,” says Ms. Gayathri.

“We need to complete the underground drainage work first. After giving the correct gradient to the line on Marudukutty Street, it has to be connected with the line on G.K. Sundaram Street. If the road is re-laid immediately, the drainage work will be hit and that will turn out to be a permanent problem,” she explains. The Councillor says that all possible efforts will be made to have the works done quickly.

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