As minister for municipal administration and rural development, K.P. Munusamy, undertakes a review of the city, he is met by battered roads, incomplete stormwater drains and piles of garbage. What will the government's response be?
Battered roads, incomplete stormwater drains and garbage piles — everyday challenges for city residents — have finally elicited a response from the government.
On Monday, minister for municipal administration and rural development, K.P. Munusamy, commenced a week-long review of incomplete civic works on the zonal level. Starting with the five zones of Anna Nagar, Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Valasaravakkam on Monday, the minister will complete the review next Monday.
According to officials, the review was necessitated following recent challenges in garbage clearance in many parts of the city. But the review brought to light issues such as incomplete stormwater drains, bad roads and growing mosquito menace.
Residents, who have so far put up with the civic problems because of the infrastructure works that are under way, have begun to feel the pinch with the next round of rains looming large.
“We have been tolerating the bad roads and water stagnation as most of such problems are associated with ongoing infrastructure projects such as the Metro Rail. But it has gone too far now. The agencies concerned must take remedial action as soon as possible,” said Karthik Selvan, a resident of Anna Nagar.
A damaged stormwater drain on Third Avenue in Anna Nagar is yet to be repaired. “The drain was damaged eight months ago when a big tree was uprooted,” said Mansoor, the security guard of an apartment complex in the area.
J. Robert, a resident, said, “We have given up. We approached the Corporation several times and requested that the drain be repaired soon. But both Metrowater and the Corporation have been blaming a contractor for the delay. We do not know what is happening. The damaged stormwater drain is now a mosquito breeding source.”
“Mosquito menace because of such breeding sources has increased considerably over the past four weeks. We are unable to bear it,” said R. Dhiliban, a resident of Anna Nagar 12 Main Road.
The minister has directed the Chennai Corporation to identify such damaged spots and generate a list of civic infrastructure in need of repair within 15 days. Mr. Munusamy also directed the officials to complete stormwater drain works by June 2013.
He also directed the civic body to take immediate action to fill vacancies in its offices to cope with other challenges such as faulty streetlights. Action will be taken to evict 515 families along the Otteri Nullah to facilitate the restoration of the drain.
The restoration of the drain by the Public Works Department is being delayed because of the encroachments. Otteri Nullah plays a key role in stormwater drainage in many localities of North Chennai.