A few hundred residents in the Chitlapakkam town panchayat, are living in fear of being inundated with sewage.

In wards 9 and 10 of the panchayat, there is already a harbinger of what is to come when the monsoon sets in. Following the recent showers, sewage and rain water, flowing through a channel (being built by the neighbouring Tambaram municipality) has overflowed and stagnated over a vast area of vacant land. The land borders the two urban local bodies.

Local residents, most of whose houses come under the town panchayat limits, fear that with the Northeast monsoon expected to begin in a month, the situation will only worsen if no action is taken.

Representatives of civic groups in the two affected wards said that while they had no objections to a neighbouring local body constructing a stormwater drain as it would transport surplus water from one lake to another (Selaiyur to Chitlapakkam lake here), it had also created an entirely new problem that has not existed until now.

This overflow of sewage from the channel, they said, would expose people to severe problems apart from posing a potential health hazard.

Already, the residents complained, they have had problems. The stagnant sewage-contaminated-rainwater on the vacant property emitted a foul odour and the mosquito menace had increased, giving them sleepless nights.

Several hundred houses in MMDA Nagar, Sekar Avenue and Sethunarayanan, Bharathi and Manickavasagar Streets have been affected, they said and urged the municipality’s elected representatives and administration to intervene.

M. Karikalan, Tambaram municipal chairman, said after many years, they had taken up the major task of strengthening and desilting existing channels in order to prevent flooding of residential localities.

Work on strengthening this particular channel with a cement concrete bund was on, and so the problem was temporary. He added that the body intended to complete the work before the onset of the monsoon. Once completed, it would provide immense relief to residents of both the municipality and town panchayat, Mr. Karikalan said.

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