Roads dissolve, water from overflowing drains enters houses and the fear of disease looms large for city’s inhabitants
Many parts of the city might have seen only intermittent showers on Sunday but there was no end to citizens’ distress due to waterlogging and potholed roads. And throughout the city, residents were furious at the Corporation’s failure to begin and complete work in time. Unfinished dugouts abandoned by the Corporation work crews were the target of heavy criticism.
Residents across various localities in Adambakkam, Pudupet, Anna Nagar, Choolaimedu and T. Nagar reported that sewage had entered their houses from stormwater drains. Many of them were concerned about access to the main road being impeded by waterlogging and potholes on the road in the light of offices reopening after the weekend on Monday.
The situation was no different in the IT corridor, one of the more planned parts of the city. Motorists and pedestrians had a tough time negotiating traffic in the vicinity of reputed IT companies on Taramani Link Road.
“The rent here is much higher but come the rains and it still takes me an hour to reach my office, just about half a kilometre from here,” said E. Thiagarajan, a resident of Mosque street.
Residents of Velachery, who for years have borne the brunt of the monsoons, are in a familiar situation. Some of them term the Thiruvalluvar Road ‘dead’. The patchwork on the road done after some Metrowater work almost dissolved in the rain, allege residents. Shanti Sivaraman, a frequent commuter, said, “Thanks to the rains, half the road serves as a parking area for two-wheelers since none of the vehicles can take that side. We struggle to walk in the mornings.”
Corporation officials promptly carried out patch work at Gandhi Road in Velachery just recently; but it got washed off over the past three days itself, she added.
Residents of Madipakkam were meanwhile planning to salvage the situation. R. Manivannan, a resident of the heavily potholed Kannagi Street, Madipakkam said, “We are planning to collect money to put gravel on the roads. It is dangerous for anybody.”
Residents of Adambakkam said the Corporation had done little to sort out drainage problems, which will only worsen with as the monsoon continues. “Even the main road is waterlogged and the arterial streets are anyway very slushy. It is only going to get worse,” said R. Krishnan, a resident of 7th street, Nanganallur.
New potholes and enormous puddles have sprung up in several other areas of the city. “The roads of Second Avenue in Ashok Nagar and Vadapalani are horribly damaged. Ironically, it was only last month that the road was laid in Vadapalani,” said R. V. Loganathan, an auto driver. It is particularly difficult to drive patients to hospitals as the ride aggravates their pain and irritation, he added.
Waterlogging continues in areas such as Ganesapuram, Vyasarpadi, Mambalam, Perambur, Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiruvotriyur and Manali. “Once water clogs in street, garbage often spills over leading to all kinds of health and commuting problems. Only last week, we had reported cases of dengue so we are worried about an epidemic,” said Menaka R., a resident of Suriya Narayana Street in Kasimedu.
In order to preventing water-logging at the Ganesapuram Subway in Vyasarpadi, the Chennai Corporation is attempting to divert the water to the Otteri Nullah Canal, according to a press release issued on Sunday. Following heavy rains, Minister for Local Administration, K.P. Munusamy, along with Chennai Mayor Sadai Duraisamy on Sunday visited several water-logged areas in localities such as Santhome, and canals to inspect how the civic body had been responding to monsoon requirements.
Following a recent meeting between Commissioner of Police S. George and Chennai Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan on handling the situation during and after the northeast monsoons in the city, police are working in coordination with Corporation staff to identify water stagnation, clearing trees that are fallen and other measures for the season.
Led by an assistant commissioner of police, police personnel in all stations have been asked to provide hourly inputs regarding water stagnation, electrocution, tree fall, building collapse, people falling into trenches and lake breach. An exclusive police control room is gathering details under these heads and passing them on to the Corporation control room . Police personnel along with firemen cleared fallen trees and made alternative traffic arrangements in various locations to prevent bottlenecks.
A police team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Madhavaram), S. Lakshmi visited various locations along with Corporation officials and made suitable arrangements for the residents to safeguard their homes from the rainwater.
(With inputs from Vasudha Venugopal, Sunitha Sekar and Petlee Peter)