Downtown

Nolambur residents join hands to fight for basic facilities

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Sriram Nagar, which has a few gated communities,waits for various civic works to be taken up.

Two years ago, Ganapathy Suresh, a long-time resident of Sriram Nagar in Nolambur, wrote a series of letters to the Chief Minister’s Grievances Cell, drawing attention to the lack of basic amenities in the locality, which included provision of good roads and repair of defective sewage drains. His petition (number: 2014/773755/QM) was filed online on March 24, 2014, with the CM’s Cell.

A week later, on April 9, the petitioner received a response from the Cell. It said that the road improvement work and rectification of the defective sewage system in the neighbourhood would be taken up immediately on a priority basis.

Two years have gone by, but residents of Sriram Nagar say civic conditions in the neighbourhood have not improved.

They say they still have to walk down slushy roads and that stormwater drains are half-built and new pipelines that have been installed to provide water supply are damaged. The neighbourhood comes under 143 ward of Zone – VII (Ambattur) of Chennai Corporation.

“I am a resident of Sriram Nagar since 2009. Nothing has improved in terms of basic facilities like roads, water supply, drainage and garbage collection. We are still living like a village panchayat in spite of the neighbourhood being merged with the Greater Chennai Corporation five years ago as part of its expansion plan,” says Vineeth O. Pamban, a resident of ‘Mithilam’, a gated community in Nolambur.

Mithilam, one of a dozen gated apartment communities in Sriram Nagar, Nolambur. Mithilam has 516 flats. Others include Abhinayam, which has around 400 families, and Gokulam, which has around 500 households.

Besides these, there are many small multi-storey apartment complexes in Sriram Nagar. These groups have come together to fight for basic amenities in the neighbourhood. One of their demands is improvement Sriram Nagar Main Road, which provides connectivity to rest of the city via Mogappair or Maduravoyal.

Residents say that Sriram Nagar Main Road has gone from bad to worse now as mounds of clay sand, dug up for construction of stormwater drain, have spilt onto the stretch. Even after a drizzle, the stretch turns slushy and slippery. As footpath was dug up for stormwater drains, the residents, including schoolchildren, have to walk in the centre of the road, putting themselves at risk for accidents.

If roads are bad, then the drainage system in Sriram Nagaris worse. Residents say the work on construction of an Underground Drainage System project was started a few years ago by the Chennai Metrowater but its slow progress has hindered the other works, especially those of the Corporation, which include road laying, installation of street lights and footpaths.

On the other hand, each gated apartment community spends thousands of rupees every month to clear sewage from their complex. For example, at Mithilam, every day, on an average, seven tanker lorries each having a capacity of 9,000 litres , remove sewage from the apartment complex. Each trip costs the residents Rs. 800.

“We pay Rs. 3,000 towards monthly maintenance. If the neighbourhood has basic facilities like drainage, our hard-earned money would not go down the drain. For middle-class families, such savings mean a lot,” says Vineeth.

Corporation officials said land acquisition from private owners was the major reason for the delay in providing basic facilities in the neighbourhood as some beneficiaries were not satisfied with the compensation and have filed cases at the Madras High Court.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:27:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Nolambur-residents-join-hands-to-fight-for-basic-facilities/article14630811.ece

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