People complain about absence of drainage facilities and lack of adequate water supply

In front of every house in the Tamil Nadu Housing Unit Phase II in Vellakinar is a pit holding sewage. The residents are forced to let their domestic waste water there as the only other alternative is to drain it on the roads.

The pit adds uniformity to the houses that more or less look identical. The Tamil Nadu Housing Board constructed and handed over the houses in 1995 to the present day residents.

It also developed roads and drains in the locality and handed them over to the then Vellakinar panchayat. The two have now become the property of the Coimbatore Corporation.

The locality is a part of Ward 26 of the Corporation.

The residents say they are unable to let the domestic sewage into the drains because they are either choked or damaged. “It is as good as letting out the sewage on the road,” says P. Duraipandi, a resident.

Drains

“The drains have been in a state of neglect as the Vellakinar panchayat and now the Corporation have not taken up repair or maintenance work. And there is no proper disposal point,” says S. Natarajan, president of the residents’ association.

The locality does not have water connection as well. Of the six borewells only one functions. After suffering for long, the residents took the initiative to repair the pipelines and supply water from the tank.

Almost all the 500-odd residents contributed Rs. 500 each for the work, he says.

They did not stop with that. The residents also contributed physical labour by cleaning the tank, adds Arul Mary, the vice president of the residents’ association. As for the drinking water, the Corporation supplies it once in 10 days.

But that is not enough to meet the demands of the 500-odd residents, especially with old pipelines that run over sewers.

Their list of woes continues. The road is equally bad, the residents complain. It has been more than 10 years since the roads there saw some improvement. With potholes and sewage pits and without drain the roads resemble cesspool during monsoon.

“The residents,” laments Mr. Duraipandi, “will have to wade through knee-deep water, that too in the absence of street lights.”

Then there is the problem of bus connectivity. Bus number 68 plies to the area but only thrice a day – 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., says Mr. Natarajan. To highlight their issues, the residents staged a protest around two years ago. Officials concerned pacified the residents with the promise to improve the basic amenities within 15 days.

Since then they have been living with the promise and also problems, he quips.

Ward 26 Councillor S. Saradha Shanmugam says that she is aware of the problems. Her proposal to improve the roads in the area has been accepted and the Corporation will soon lay new roads.

The civic body will also improve water supply and is in the process of approving applications for house connections for water supply.

She promises to improve the basic amenities at the earliest.

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