Residents of Panthalkudi Main Road seek police help
Residents of Panthalkudi Main Road in Sellur are up in arms against the alleged apathetic attitude of civic body officials as the contaminated water in the channel that runs along the locality poses a serious health hazard.
Vexed with the indifference of the corporation, the residents had approached the police seeking action against erring officials under Sections 268, 270, 40, 43 and 166 of Indian Penal Code for failing to provide a clean and pollution-free environment.
The channel has been in a sorry state for the past 20 years.
A portion of the wall on either side had collapsed during heavy rains a few years ago posing a threat to vehicle users, P. Poovalingam, a resident said on Monday.
Repeated pleas by residents seeking the construction of a wall had only fallen on deaf ears, he added.
Though desilting work was undertaken in 2006, the task has been left incomplete. A lot of families in the area discharge sewage water into the channel to avoid paying tax to the corporation, residents alleged.
The stagnant sewage water in the channel has turned it into a breeding ground for mosquitoes that swarm the houses in the area after dusk. “One cannot stand the stench that emanates from the channel,” said R. Shanthi, member of All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi. Last month, a five-year-old girl in Panthalkudi died of chikungunya, she added.
Councillor Soundara Pandian of Ward 38 said, “I have raised the issue several times at the council meeting, yet the officials keep passing the buck. A few months back the Corporation Commissioner visited the spot and assured the residents of steps to clean the channel but nothing has been done so far.”
It may be recalled that in 2011, a clean-up drive was conducted by the city-based Dhan Foundation and the city corporation on the entire stretch.
Residents and corporation staff took part in the week-long campaign against water pollution and garbage dumping, and cleared the garbage in the water channel.
A. Mathuram, Chief Engineer, Madurai Corporation, said that though it was for the Public Works Department to carry out desilting, flooring and other necessary works on the stretch, the corporation was ready to do the job.
“We are awaiting fund allocation from the State government,” he added.