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Unfinished work on underground drainage irks Coimbatore residents

Karthik Madhavan
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Pedestrians and vehicle users have fallen into open pits in the city

Work not completed:The delay in executing underground drainage work on Sundapalayam Road and Thadagam Road has inconvenienced residents. –PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
Work not completed:The delay in executing underground drainage work on Sundapalayam Road and Thadagam Road has inconvenienced residents. –PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Along the Thadagam Road and Sundapalayam Road are pits the Corporation has dug for executing the underground drainage (UGD) work. The pits are of different age groups. Some pits are eight months old; a few are younger at six months and then there are the newborn pits that are at least a couple of months old.

M.S. Velmurugan, a former Councillor and resident of the area, says that in executing the the UGD work, the Corporation has not only left the work incomplete but has also not closed the pits.

At every Sundapalayam Road – P.M. Swamy Colony junction the Corporation has dug a pit. Or, it has left open the manhole. Only at one or two junctions, it has placed barricades. Others do not have one. In a few places, the barricades it has placed have fallen into the pits to form part of the waste.

Pedestrians and motorists too have fallen into the pits. It is a regular occurrence, says V. Venkatesan, a resident.

At the Sundapalayam Road – P.M. Swamy Colony Fifth Street Junction, the Corporation has reduced the 50-foot wide road to about five feet, thanks again to UGD work. Holding together the earth at the five-foot stretch is a concrete slab. Beneath the slab flows sewage carrying human waste.

S. Ramakrishnan, a tea shop owner, says that the Corporation has abandoned the stretch of the road in such precarious condition for the last six months. During the period people have slipped, fallen into the pit and suffered injuries.

The delay in executing the work has resulted in the residents losing access to bus services. Mr. Velmurugan says that majority of the residents of the roads, who come from lower middle class families, are thoroughly dependent on the buses to reach their work spots. Councillor representing the area Ward 21’s E. Senthil says that he is too tired to talk of the issue as he has complained about the delay at several zonal and Council meetings. “There is not one occasion I have missed.”

There has been no response to his complaints and the work continues at snail’s pace, he rues.

Sources in the Corporation say that the delay in executing the work is because of the Siruvani pipeline running through the area. At many places the Corporation has dug, it has encountered the water supply pipeline.

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