The monsoon every year brings along a clutch of civic woes for residents of many newly-developed and low-lying residential layouts across the city.
Roads in the layouts turn slushy and dangerous, and vacant plots that lie scattered turn into cesspools breeding mosquitoes. Enough to make life miserable for those who have ventured to build their dream home away from the hustle and bustle of the congested city.
Over the past couple of decades, vacant plots in such layouts have become a civic nuisance and a health hazard. The recent spells of showers over the past fortnight have brought the problem to the fore again.
Although the problem is common to many parts of the city, it is felt acutely in low-lying areas such as Karumandapam. More than a dozen colonies between Karumandapam and Dheeran Nagar, a two-km stretch on the Tiruchi-Dindigul Highway, have scores of such vacant plots in the midst of well-developed and developing layouts such as RMS Colony, Jaya Nagar, Sakthi Nagar, Thiru Nagar, New Selva Nagar, Alpha Nagar, JP Nagar, and Kalyanasundaram Nagar. Most of these areas still do not have underground sewer network and sewage from open drains constructed in some of the colonies by the corporation often seep into the open plots, says Rengarajan, a resident of Karumandapam.
Residents also complain that the neglect of the plots by both the owners and the civic body has resulted in thick growth of bushes, which provide refuge to snakes and insects. The corporation issues occasional warnings and in the past had even threatened legal action against owners of vacant plots if they failed to maintain the property properly. But nobody seems to pay heed to the warnings.
“Many of the owners have purchased the property as long-term investment and leave them unattended. It is very difficult for the civic body to trace them or force them to clean up their plots unless and until they come to us for getting plan approval or other services,” says a corporation official. When contacted, R. Gnanasekar, chairman, K. Abishekapuram zone, said that stagnation posed a problem in plots situated in low-lying areas in the zone. Steps were afoot to purchase four motor pumpsets and they would be used to pump out the stagnant water from the vacant sites. “We have already adopted a resolution in the ward committee for the purchase and the pumpsets will be acquired soon,” he said.