A handful of residents staged road roko in Sharma Nagar in north Chennai and stopped the Corporation from digging up a road.

Residents of 3rd Street, Sharma Nagar, were upset the civic body had decided to lay a concrete road despite their objections to the decision.

The street has a row of middle-income group houses allotted to the residents around 40 years ago by the State government.

There are around 450 houses there which, at one time, served as quarters for employees of Buckingham and Carnatic Mills.

The houses were allotted to the mill employees. At present, the employees’ descendents occupy the houses.

A resident said, “The houses were allotted by the government several decades ago. Our house is at a lower level and during rains, the houses get flooded. We cannot go out because of this. Some time ago, Corporation officials suggested a concrete road could be laid. There are five houses like mine and all of us face the same problem.”

Another resident R. Gnanasekaran said they were worried the concrete road would not allow for water absorption. They preferred a tar road, he said.

“Some of the residents have rebuilt their houses but a few of us have not. We told the contractors who came this morning to break up the road and stop the work,” he said.

Residents are not convinced that laying new stormwater drains will solve their problem.

“The drains are not cleaned regularly leading to flooding,” a resident said.

Since the decision to protest was made on the spot, only a few residents could participate in Saturday’s agitation.

The residents plan to mobilise support and intensify their agitation if the Corporation does not review its decision.

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