Downtown

Old wall contributed to flood damage: residents

View of damaged wall on Sri Nagar Colony, South Avenue. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

Prompt action regarding an old dilapidated wall marking a piece of vacant land in Srinagar Colony South Avenue could have significantly checked inundation of the neighbourhood, say residents of this neighbourhood in Saidapet.

“All the water from Sardar Patel Road, which is parallel to Sri Nagar Colony, was diverted into this land through a pipe. When the water level rose, the old dilapidated wall collapsed, and water gushed onto the entire street and inundated it. This happened a day before the floodgates at Chembarambakkam were opened wide, which led to copious inflows into the Adyar river” says Sabeena Varghese, a resident of 25 years.

Many years ago, residents had lodged a complaint about the dilapidated condition of the wall marking the vacant land.

“Until a few years ago, it was used by the Highways Department for its work. It is said to have belonged to the Department. Then, a dispute arose over the land. Following this, the empty land became a den for anti-socials. Many were using it as a lavatory; also, garbage and construction debris were dumped inside. We wrote letters to the Highways Department, the Corporation and Chief Secretary’s office asking them to rebuild the wall, but in vain. Now, in the recent rains, a portion gave way and water gushed onto the road and flooded our houses,” she adds.

The wall was last strengthened after it fell following a heavy downpour in the 80s.

“Had the wall not collapsed, the effect of flooding would not have been very severe. We saw water gushing from the vacant plot onto the road and decided to leave our houses. On December 2, more water entered the colony and houses on the ground floor were under water,” say Anbu and Valli, long-time residents of the neighbourhood.

Corporation workers removed the debris only a few days ago and a temporary barricade is being placed at the broken portion.

“We want the entire wall to be broken down and rebuilt. Since this area is home to a large number of deer and migratory birds, I hope efforts will be taken to conserve this green land,” says Sabeena.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 9:13:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/residents-of-srinagar-colony-in-saidapet-says-old-wall-contributed-to-flood-damage/article8008426.ece

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