Several-low lying pockets across the city were flooded, rainwater mixed with sewage

The first spell of rain on Saturday, which left several arterial roads inundated, brought to fore the shortcomings of the storm-water drains in the city yet again.

Although the rain lasted just about an hour, many low-lying spots in the arterial roads were flooded with the open drains built by the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation in recent years getting either clogged or not having proper a disposal arrangement.

Low-lying pockets around the Central and Chathram Bus Stands, Shastri Road and Thillai Nagar, Thennur Main Road, Lawsons Road, TVS Tollgate Junction, St. John’s Vestry School Junction, Puthur Main Road and Woraiyur bore the brunt. Pedestrians had to wade through the rainwater mixed with sewage. Many small cars and two-wheelers broke down and were stranded.

“It is a pity that many city roads are flooded during a spell of rain lasting just about an hour. All cross roads in Thillai Nagar were flooded and many road users were stranded for more than an hour in different places in the city,” said C. Balasubramanian, secretary, Karumandapam Exnora Flood Prevention Committee.

Although the problem turns acute every passing year, the corporation has been unable to find a solution.

The civic body did take up the annual exercise of cleaning up some stretches of the major drains in the city. But these works taken up in bits and pieces, have never been comprehensive enough to tackle the problem. The drains that run into these canals are choked or encroached upon in most places.

There have been complaints from elected representatives that the drains built by the corporation along with road laying works did not have the required gradient or proper disposal arrangement. In some residential colonies, drains could be seen running into dead ends and stagnating.

The first signs of monsoon rains raised the anxiety of residents in some flood-prone areas of the city. Residents of Karumandapam, one of the flood-prone areas in the city, are worried over the condition of the storm-water drains in their locality.

The locality has come to be a veritable flood bowl, as rainwater from different places converges before flowing into the Uyyakondan river.

Rainwater from higher plains of the city such as airport, K.K. Nagar, and Khajamalai have to flow through the storm-water drains along Selva Nagar, Selva Nagar Extension, and New Selva Nagar before draining into the Uyyakondan. But the drains are clogged with thick growth of vegetation and solid wastes on many stretches.

The local people demand that the storm-water drains be converted into concrete drains up to the Keezh Pokki, a vent through which the flood waters flowed.

They demand steps to strengthen the Koraiyar river as any breach would flood these colonies.

“There have been predictions that the monsoon will be good this year and it is important that the Tiruchiraplli City Corporation and the Public Works Department take up pre-monsoon inspections to check the condition of the storm-water drains in the city and keep them ready to carry the flood waters,” says Mr. Balasubramanian.