Corporation has taken up work on nearly 42 km of the drains

Even as the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has taken up renovation of storm-water drains in some parts of the city, apparently to prevent stagnation of rainwater on arterial roads, traders and residents near West Boulevard Road and Pattabiraman Pillai Road have expressed disappointment over the civic body’s failure to remove encroachments and the design of these structures.

The corporation, sources said, has taken up renovation of storm-water drains for nearly 42 km in different parts of the city, apparently to prevent stagnation of rainwater on arterial roads. The civic body had drawn much flak after frequent instances of water logging in the city during monsoon over the past few years. Storm-water drains built along many arterial roads in the city have proved to be inadequate and are most often clogged.

In places such as Pattabiraman Pillai Road, the drain-cum-pavement is occupied by the two-wheeler mechanics and re-sellers. The pavements have turned the work sheds and ‘showrooms’ for these outlets, which dot the entire road. Although several households and apartments are located along the road, pedestrians hardly get space to walk on the busy and narrow road right through the day.

“t is a nightmare for senior citizens and children to walk along the road. Schoolchildren cannot even wait on the pavements to board their school vehicles or autorickshaws.

The corporation should take steps to rid the existing pavement of encroachments on the one side and build a pavement on the opposite side too,” says Uma, a resident Corporation officials say the renovation was intended to prevent clogging and they were planning to install silt traps along the drains now. Besides, in many places the structures have been eroded and require renovation. Damaged concrete slabs require replacement, they contend. But residents argue that unless encroachments were cleared, the initiative will serve little purpose.

A section of traders and residents near Singarathope are sore over the design of the structures that are being built around the R.R. Sabha building. The road connects the West Boulevard Road with the Old Madurai Road, where the Holy Cross College and school are located.

“Ideally the pavements should be easily accessible. But the structures that are being built now here are more than a feet in height. Differently abled persons, senior citizens and children will find it difficult to climb the pavement,” said P. Saravanan, a resident.

The drain on the opposite side, around the District Central Library building, has been built to a similar height of over 12 inches and is rarely used by pedestrians. Effectively, the pavement is now being used by vendors to spread their wares, Mr.Saravanan said.

However, a Corporation official said that a representation in this regard has already been received and steps are being taken to restrict the height of the drain-cum-pavement at the stretch.