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Updated: March 26, 2014 16:31 IST

Storm water drains, source of pollution

K. Manikandan
Comment (4)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Waste of funds: Sewage flows through storm water drains in the southern suburbs of Chennai. Photo: A. Muralitharan
The Hindu Waste of funds: Sewage flows through storm water drains in the southern suburbs of Chennai. Photo: A. Muralitharan

There seems to be no end to the menace of storm water drains discharging sewage and liquid waste into water bodies and other open places in the southern suburbs of Chennai.

Constructed for the purpose of discharging rain water run off during the Monsoon into lakes and tanks, these drains for several decades have been responsible for contamination, pollution of water bodies in the southern suburbs of Chennai.

Alarming levels of pollution

The issue has assumed such alarming proportions that water bodies in the southern suburbs of Chennai that were once potable have now been thoroughly degraded. Water bodies located in the midst of residential localities, commercial establishments and industries are on the brink of extinction.

Among the more than 300 major lakes and tanks and many more smaller water bodies in the city suburbs, only a few have managed to survive the onslaught of pollution. Engineers of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply told Downtown that urban and rural local bodies were under tremendous pressure from their elected representatives for constructing storm water drains to prevent streets and roads from flooding during the Monsoon.

However, funds of the local bodies were wasted on laying these drains especially in those places where they were just not necessary.

The condition of these drains only reflected the loss of several lakhs of rupees from the tax payers' pockets, according to residents of Ranganathapuram in West Tambaram, who point to the drains leading to the lake in their locality.

Residents also point out that local bodies administration did not attach much importance to proper maintenance of these drains, that were clogged with plastic and paper waste.

In the absence of underground drainage networks, local bodies had no other option other than creating storm water drains to keep localities free from stagnation of sewage.

According to residents, only storm water drains constructed along arterial roads in the southern suburbs such as Grand Southern Trunk Road and Velachery Main Road were well planned.

In a bid to keep storm water drains free from sewage and reduce the level of pollutants, a novel project was carried out in Alandur Municipality (now with Chennai Corporation).

Japanese technology

Using a Japanese technology of placing remedial bio blocks made from volcanic ash, the pilot project threw out encouraging results, but it was not approved for implementation by the State Government.

Liquid waste management plant

In Chitlapakkam, there is a liquid waste management plant where sewage flowing into the storm water drains along Balaji Avenue is treated at the plant before being discharged into Sembakkam Lake.

However, this project too has not been completely successful as sewage continues to drain into the lake from multiple entry points.

Effluents from commercial establishments

Preventing raw sewage from homes and effluents from commercial establishment from flowing through these storm water drains could not be contained considering the absence of underground drainage projects, engineers said.

Residents added that the biggest casualty of polluted and contaminated storm water drains was supply of drinking water.

This is because main and distribution lines passed through storm water drains and due to corrosive condition of these pipes, sewage mixing with the drinking water was common occurrence.

RELATED NEWS

Civic issues & HealthMay 14, 2012

Government of Tamilnadu should control pollution of Ambattur Lake by letting of untreated sewage, Black, Gray water flowing through natural channels in to the lake surrounded by residential nagars, Ambattur lake measuring 250 acres comprised in survey no.582 of Ambattur village, survey no.866 of Thirumullaivoyal Village, Ambattur Taluk, Thiruvallur District, within limits of Corporation of Chennai, Avadi Municipality by deepening, dredging, removing slushes, by constructing water treatment plants, strengthening lake bund, laying connecting roads on lake bund in order to maintain Ambattur lake as fresh water lake. Government of Tamilnadu should also consider to restore back Ambattur Lake bed ( Eri Ulvoi ) to its original shape, size, capacity, Ambattur lake bed – Eri Ulvoi measuring 19 acres comprised in survey number 645/5 of Thirumulaivoyal village, Ambattur Taluk, Thiruvallur District, within limits of Avadi Municipality, near to Annanur Railway Station which is a main feeder channel

from:  ANNANUR SIVASAKTHI NAGAR WELFARE ASSOCIATION
Posted on: Jun 1, 2012 at 14:45 IST

Government of Tamilnadu should also control polution of Ambattur Lake measuring 250 acres comprised in survey no.582 of Ambattur village, survey no.866 of Thirumullaivoyal Village, Ambattur Taluk, Thiruvallur District, within limits of Corporation of Chennai, Avadi Municipality by deepening, dredging, removing slushes, strengthening lake bund, laying connecting roads on lake bund in order to maintain as fresh water lake. Government of Tamilnadu should also consider to restore back to its original shape, size, capacity of Ambattur lake bed – Eri Ulvoi measuring 19 acres comprised in survey number 645/5 of Thirumulaivoyal village, Ambattur Taluk, Thiruvallur District, within limits of Avadi Municipality, near to Annanur Railway Station which is a main feeder channel carries, channelize rain, flood water to Ambattur Lake.

from:  Annanur Sivasakthi Nagar Welfare Association
Posted on: May 31, 2012 at 18:06 IST

Thank you Hindu for covering the issues of Southern Suburbs like Tambaram etc. It has been a daily plight of people living in the suburbs with unsanitary conditions, extremely bad roads, no drinking and sewer facilities.
Tambaram municipality hastily constructed storm these water drains without miniscule idea of it's purpose. Without any proper draining to clear the drains at the end of it's running stretches, these drains have become pools of stagnated household sewer drains actively breeding mosquitoes. What hase been a largely mosquito free areas of East Tambaram like Thilakavathy Nagar, Balaji Nagar etc., has today become intolerably high levels of mosquitos that residents have to shut themselves inside their homes. Residents silently suffer because of inaction even after repeated compliants to the Councillors and municipality.

from:  AK Akula
Posted on: May 27, 2012 at 05:48 IST

This problem is not only in the suburbs,even in T.Nagar, the storm water drains collecting sewage water and poluting our bore wells. The base of the storm water is made of 10% cement and 90% sand. Hence,the sewage collected in the storm water drains perculates in the ground and spoils the natural springs for the borewell.

from:  chandra kumar
Posted on: May 26, 2012 at 19:25 IST
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