Chennai Metrowater has started disconnecting water supply and sewer lines of the 25 buildings on Ranganathan Street and Usman Road in T.Nagar, which were sealed on Monday.
According to officials of Metrowater, measures are being taken based on the report provided by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and Chennai Corporation – the two agencies that sealed the buildings. The process to disconnect the water and sewer lines of the buildings began on Monday late night.
Metrowater had recently disconnected the lines in four other buildings in areas, including Royapettah and Mylapore.
On Tuesday, the number of shoppers to the retail hub in T.Nagar was considerably less. The designated parking lots in the nearby areas wore a deserted look.
“Many of the people who come here for purchase as part of wedding ceremony requirements failed to turn up. Such people from nearby towns such as Tindivanam and Villupuram and the surrounding villages did not come today. These people used to come by train,” said S.Raja, an employee of a shop that was locked and sealed on Monday.
Many products already purchased by customers and stored in the sealed shops are yet to be delivered to the people concerned, according to shop owners.
Employees waited at the entrance of their locked shops on Ranganathan Street and Usman Road till noon and shared their grievances with representatives of the merchants' association who visited the area.
President of Tamil Nadu Vanikar Sangangalin Peravai T.Vellaiyan visited the area and said that the locking and sealing of violations was legally necessary but the drive had severely affected the livelihood of hundreds of employees and small retail outlets. Many of the visitors from suburbs had to return after they found their favourite shops locked and sealed on Ranganathan Street and surrounding areas, said M.Silvester, an employee of a retail outlet in the area. “The hawkers too had a dull business as they depend on the people visiting big shops in the area. Natesan Street, one of the streets where motorcycles of visitors used to be parked, wore a deserted look on Tuesday,” he added.
“We are yet to receive our wage for October. We are feeling insecure now,” said S.Visakan, an employee who has been working in T.Nagar retail outlets for the past few decades.
V.S.Jayaraman, one of the residents of T.Nagar said, “We are also equally concerned about livelihood of employees. We are not against the existence of shops in T.Nagar. But traders have to ensure that they adhere to rules.”
“The shops should remain closed once a week. This would make the area a better place for residents. The shops should also provide parking space for vehicles,” he added.
In a press statement, CREDAI Chennai president T.Chitty Babu said: “This is a serious matter of concern for all of us, this is the result of not adhering to the rules and building norms. The builders and developers community is not involved in these instances as these are effects of developments or alterations carried out by the building owners themselves. The 267 member strong CREDAI TN Chapter representing the builder community in Tamil Nadu understand the importance of complying with the existing building norms and are signatories to the code of conduct that demands zero deviation from approved plans”.
According to a senior official of CMDA, some of the cases mature next week and action may continue. “But we are not contemplating demolition for the time being. The owner should come clean,” the official added.