Discharge of sewage water into a drainage channel has been posing a health risk to the residents of Ramalinga Nagar over the past several months. The problem gets aggravated during nights, when large volumes of sewage are discharged into the channel. The underground sewage, which should be pumped to the treatment plant at Panjapur, is being let out into the Kathirikkai channel, due to the problem in running the motors at pumping station during power cuts.

Houses and apartments dot the banks of the channel at Ramalinga Nagar and the overpowering stench that pervades the area forces residents to keep their doors and windows shut all through the day. The foul smell rending the air is nauseating, says A.Nisha, a resident. And children are prone to respiratory problem and fever, she adds. P.Anand, a trader, points out the problem is more pronounced during strong winds. The discharge compounds the mosquito menace in the area. S.Babu, a real estate dealer, who has rented a house, says that it’s quite difficult for him to do business because of the bad odour.

The residents question the propriety of releasing sewage into a channel that runs across residential areas. P.Thangam, another resident, says that the channel comes in handy for residents to drop their garbage. Solid wastes and discarded mats and pillows thrown into the channel chokes the flow of water. The stagnant sewage in turn becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

A number of auto rickshaw drivers and mechanics who have set up workshops on the other side of the channel point out that though a petition has been submitted to the civic authorities, nothing has materialised. City corporation should take steps to stop the discharge of sewage, says P.Jayabal, an auto driver. A.P.Sahadevan, municipal councillor, agrees that the problem has been posing a health risk to residents. However, he puts the blame on the intermittent power which throws a spanner in the pumping work.