ERODE: S. Marutha Muthu, an elderly resident of Bharathi Nagar, off Sathyamangalam Road in B.P. Agraharam Town Panchayat, has his house in water. Inside his small hut, water keeps seeping through the cemented floor.
Right outside his house there is a sewage pond, the muddy water of which is covered with a layer of green algae coat. The families living on the other side of the `pond' have to wade through the dirty water to enter and leave their houses.
The residents, mostly Dalits, say the pond stores both rain and sewage water- rainwater because there is no structure on the vacant site-turned pond, and sewage water because the slope of the drainage constructed by the town panchayat does not carry water to the main sewerage on the Sathyamangalam Road. Residents complain that drainage is their biggest problem because the gradient is such that sewage reverts to houses from where it overflows onto the road to join the sewage pond.
Right in the sewage pond, a few paces away from Marutha Muthu's house is the town panchayat's drinking water pump. Pointing to the pump, residents say they don't use the water for two reasons: one, the water coming out of it is coloured and stinks, and, two, it is difficult to wade through the sewage water to reach the pump.
Apart from the chocked drains and the sewage pond, the residents demand a public convenience complex. Right next to Bharathi Nagar is Arun Velavan Nagar, also in B.P. Agraharam Town Panchayat limits. At the entrance of the Nagar's main road, the stones above the drainage have given away, posing a serious threat to the lives of motorists. With no streetlights in the vicinity, the threat only increases.
B.P. Agraharam authorities promise to initiate steps to replace the stone slabs. "We are aware of the problem and will rectify it after placing it before the council," says chairman A.E.J. Jaffer Sadiq. Regarding public convenience facilities, he says the one that was to be constructed got locked in a legal dispute.