‘It is ironical that such a sanitation issue has not been addressed’

Visitors to Selva Nagar and New Selva Nagar near Ponnagar in the city are greeted by an overpowering stench that hangs in the air these days as overflowing manholes of the underground sewage system are polluting several parts of the localities over the past couple of months.

About 700 residents of the localities are also forced to walk the streets with their noses covered literally these days. Residents say that manholes at the Selva Nagar III Street, III Cross and IV Cross Roads have been overflowing for the past two months, posing a severe health hazard.

Being a flood prone and developing area, where rain water stagnates in open plots, the sewage overflow has only compounded the problem for residents. The sewage flows into several open plots. The stagnant rain water and the sewage make them breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents say that during the recent spell of rain, sewage was gushing out of the manholes.

“We have brought the problem to the notice of our councillor and officials. But no action has been taken till this day. The mosquito menace has turned acute in our area. It is ironical that such a major sanitation issue has not been addressed by the civic body, which has taken up a major campaign across the city in the wake of the dengue scare,” observes C.Balasubramanian, a resident and secretary, Karumandapam Exnora Flood Prevention Committee.

Some of the residents allege that a few manholes have been damaged and need repairs. However, overflow of the sewage has also been caused by the heavy load shedding in the city, disrupting the pumping of sewage from the lifting stations. The underground sewer system has 26 roadside lifting stations in the city and sewage is pumped to the nearby pumping stations through the roadside lifting stations. Given the frequent power cuts, pumping of sewage from the lifting stations is disrupted, resulting in overflow of sewage from manholes on the roads. Corporation officials concede that the problem has been posing a headache to them in many other parts of the city.

The Corporation has recently decided to install generators in some of the lifting stations that are located in low lying areas in the city to overcome the problem. But all the six that are to be provided with generators are located in Srirangam, while those in other parts of the city are facing similar problem.

Apart from demanding urgent steps to plug the overflowing drains, Selva Nagar residents also say that the Corporation has to deploy additional sanitary staff in their locality to carry out anti-mosquito fogging.