The hardship they face every day made them angry. The roads at Tali and its surrounding areas have been in a pathetic condition for about two years now, dug up for laying sewage lines under the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP).
At a meeting with project officials organised by Mythri, the 12th unit of the Chalappuram Raksha Samithi, on Sunday, the local people vent their ire before K.K. Othenan, technical officer, and Selvakumar, project head of the contractor.
“We do not want to know about the project details. Just tell us when our roads will be usable again,” a participant said.
One person alleged that the road in front of the Corporation Jubilee Hall was repaired and tarred in a hurry during rain two days ago. Another alleged that the KSUDP, the City Corporation and the Kerala Water Authority had no coordination among themselves, leaving the public to suffer.
“Groups of 10 men would come and dig up our roads and leave. The holes remain as such for months and the works remain incomplete. Who is answerable for this apathy,” a resident questioned.
“The autorickshaw drivers refuse to come to Tali, and the few who are ready charge too high,” Dhanalakshmi, a participant, said. Another person wondered when the whole process would conclude.
“Where would all this sewage be dumped into. They were planning to construct a treatment plant at Sarovaram, but the people in that area have been opposing it vehemently, citing ecological concerns. They plan to divert the treated water into Connolly Canal, which would be a clear violation of a recent High Court ruling against disposal of any form of waste into the canal,” a young man said.
“Without a treatment plan, what is the purpose of all this digging up and laying pipelines? And there have been reports that the pipes already laid are substandard and hence those roads will again be dug up. Will our suffering end any time?”
Mr. Othenan said the Supreme Court approved the project and it had received six clearances, including that of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board.
A participant, however, said the Board had not held any public hearing, which was mandatory before giving clearance to any environmentally sensitive project.
M.T. Padma, Zachariah P. Hussain and M. Sreeram, councillors, were present.