The residents of Ward 42 in the West Zone of the Corporation face several issues, including clogged stormwater drains due to the constant dumping of food waste, plastic, and garden debris into the drains. According to the local people of this middle-income resident-heavy ward, this practice is causing significant environmental and health concerns among residents.
Ward 42: Velandipalayam and Kovilmedu (West Zone)
Civic body services and infrastructure
A shopkeeper on Marutha Konar Street said the contract workers do take out the waste from the drains every week, dry them and collect them in the vehicles.
“Everyone throws plastic and food waste into the drains. Some houses lacking underground drainage [UGD] connections were diverting the sewage into the stormwater drains, exacerbating the blockage. As a result, stagnant water has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It was much worse around two years ago as there were no slabs,” he said.
According to him: “Many people seem to have no use for stale food, and they lack knowledge about composting. They can get money in exchange for metal, plastic and paper waste from scrap dealers. Consequently, they choose to discard food waste into the stormwater drains.”
V. Vijaykumar, a ward resident and member of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, said that officials do raise awareness on waste segregation and the people also follow it.
Pandiarajan, a resident of Velandipalayam, said no official has so far told the local people about waste segregation. “The workers collect even mixed waste and segregate them close to the dustbins along the Marutha Konar Street.,” he added.
Sathish Kumar, a former ward councillor of the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said that open dumping was rampant in Ambedkar Street and Periakani Konar Street. Wastewater overflows into the houses on Periakani Konar Street, he said.
According to an authority in the Engineering Department of the Corporation, the pipes were constructed several years ago under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and commissioned only three years ago.
“The blocks are usually found in the interior areas on higher slopes such as Periakani Konar Street. Some houses connect their sewage lines to the stormwater drain, leading to more flow than the drains can handle causing overflow. Moreover, the pumping machines may face difficulties in such slopes,” the official said.
The authorities have recently requested installation of UGD system in areas such as Thavasi Nagar that were previously left out.
Another official in the Corporation’s Health Department stated that 16 waste bins were removed from the ward recently and bins are placed on Marudha Konar Street. “This was to stop dumping of mixed waste. We have been raising awareness. We will look into the issue immediately,” he said.