Chennai Metrowater properties worth several crore rupees in different parts of the city are being misused as garbage dumping yards or have been encroached upon.
According to residents, the areas where Metrowater land is being misused include Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Red Hills and Villivakkam. This despite the water agency putting up boards warning the offenders of action. A case in point is a piece of land near the Metrowater Area Office in Kilpauk.
Manjula Selvaraj, a resident of G Block in Anna Nagar, complained that a Metrowater property in her area is being used as a garbage dump yard and a public convenience. Carcasses were also dumped there, posing a health hazard to those living near the land. A open well in the land remains neglected for several years now.
C. J. Nagarajan, a resident of AL Block in Anna Nagar, said a vacant land measuring around 24,000 sq.ft., with an open well, belonging to the water agency in M.G.R. Colony, was in dire need of a compound wall. “Metrowater conducts awareness programmes on rainwater harvesting. But, it has not taken steps to desilt the well in its land,” he said.
He complained that instead of keeping the area free of garbage, the water agency is contemplating closing the well. He said the Anna Nagar Residents Welfare Association has made several representations to the Metrowater authorities to protect such vacant spaces, which are also misused by anti-socials.
Metrowater officials said an inventory of such lands is being prepared. This follows the recent drive to remove encroachments on the Metrowater land in Kalvai Thurai near Kilpauk. Measures would be taken to either fence or construct compound wall in vacant spaces and also remove encroachments, particularly on conduit lines carrying water from Red Hills reservoir to the city, an official said.