Metrowater to hold meetings in association with local bodies

Chennai Metrowater is facing hurdles in constructing sewage pumping stations in a few suburbs of the city in view of stiff protests from the residents that such facilities should not be built in heavily populated localities and on parks.

Residents of J.J.Nagar East said that the sewage pumping station under construction in a park on E.B. Office Road would affect the environment in the residential area. The park was developed only a few months ago by the Ambattur Municipality.

Srilakshmi Sudhakar, a member of the E.B. Office Road Residents' Welfare Association, said it was the only open space in the area and the noise and stench from the facility would pose problems for the residents. Besides raising concern about possible groundwater pollution, the residents also said that the area would suffer sewage blockages or reverse flow owing to power failure particularly during monsoon.

Residents of Okkiam Thoraippakkam said that the road level of the adjoining areas have become low and susceptible to flood during rainy season as the height of the Rajiv Gandhi Salai has been raised and decision to construct sewage pumping station in their locality would only compound the problems for them.

Members of Chandrasekar Avenue Residents' Welfare Association, Okkiam Thoraipakkam, are against the construction of a sewage pumping station on a park in Chandrasekar Avenue. The association secretary N.Balasubramanian said if the facility does not function during monsoon, it would cause health hazard as overflowing sewage would mix with stagnant rain water.

Similarly, the residents welfare associations in Amal Nagar and Adhi Nagar, West Tambaram, have appealed to the water agency and the municip-ality to find alternative sites for the proposed facilities.

Officials of the local bodies in Ambattur, Madhavaram and Tambaram said there were only a few spaces belonging to the municipalities that could be used for infrastructure development. “We chose to use public spaces to avoid land acquisition. Finding an alternative site would be difficult,” an official of Ambattur Municipality said.

In a bid to create awareness about the facilities, Chennai Metrowater plans to organise meetings in association with the local bodies to sensitise residents to the importance of the facilities.

Officials of the Metrowater said that as concrete sewage collection wells were to be constructed, there would not be any seepage. There would not be much stench or noise in these environment-friendly pumping stations, which would also have a green belt formed. Amenities would be provided to ensure continuous pumping of sewage even during power failures.

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