Residents of Ayanavaram have a long-pending request - to have the 3.3 km-long Ainsley Canal, which belongs to the Southern Railways, desilted and cleaned. The canal carrying untreated sewage is clogged with garbage and weeds.

P.Devi, councillor of ward 59, said: “The Ainsley Canal joins the Otteri Nullah near Podikadai bus stop on Konnur High Road. Almost every year during heavy rains when the Otteri Nullah flows to the brim, water enters homes in Subbarayan 4th and 5th streets. However, we are unable to do anything as the canal belongs to the railways,” she said.

Leader of Opposition Saidai P. Ravi said that if the sewage flow in the canal was not checked, the Otteri Nullah, which was being desilted, and strengthened under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, would continue to carry sewage even after the completion of the project. The canal is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ms. Devi said that when there are many complaints from residents about mosquitoes she requested Chennai Corporation to spray repellents in the area. Residents of Ekangipuram said as the canal is very shallow, when water in the canal raises it flows on to the road. The plastic bags are pushed onto the roads, they said.

The canal, which originates at the eastern end of Villivakkam Railway Station passes through ICF, Railway Hospital, Ayanavaram and Pananthope Colony and drains into the Otteri Nullah. K. Ramadoss, president of North Chennai Dist Exnora, said that a stench pervades the area as waste generated by poultry and animal slaughter houses is dumped into the canal. “Villivakkam MLA J.C.D. Prabhakar said that he would write to the Railways asking them to immediately desilt the canalSouthern Railway DRM S.Anantharaman said the canal was being desilted regularly. Steps would be taken to remove encroachments.

Mayor M.Subramanian said that action would be taken to take possession of the canal from the railways so that the canal can be desilted .

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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