Thalavai Agraharam situated close to Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai is yet another example of the errors introduced by the engineers in Madurai Corporation.
Till a few years ago, when it rained, the water drained instantly and the road was usable by the motorists. However, in the recent past, under the Smart City initiative, with the city witnessing works in and around the temple, the engineers had raised the surface level on many stretches around the temple.
As these surfaces are not evenly finished, the rainwater stagnates for long hours in many pockets and one such stretch is the Thalavai Agraharam.
On Tuesday, with the city witnessing rain in the evening, the area around the temple also experienced heavy showers for about 30 minutes. But till early Wednesday morning, it was a harrowing experience for the residents and shopkeepers here.
The rainwater remained stagnant till 3 a.m and water entered the dwellings and shops whenever a vehicle passed through the road.
According to the residents, not only plastic, but all kinds of garbage left by road side eateries got washed into their home and the unpleasant smell posed severe mental agony.
An official in the engineering section in Madurai Corporation admitted that they were new to the city and they were in the process of studying ‘ problematic’ roads.
According to the official, in the process of enhancing the road level, the rainwater flowing from Naveen Bakery (East Chitirai Street, Central Market side and Tahsildar Pallivasal side towards Thalavai Agraharam got stuck. “The agraharam stretch acts like a bowl with the water collecting there,” said K RatnaKumar alias Jagan, secretary of the Madurai Thalavai Street Merchants Association.
A DMK councillor in Madurai Corporation blamed it on the AIADMK government for the error, but was confident of getting it rectified soon. He also said that the Central MLA and Finance Minister P. T. R. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan was aware of the problem and had recently discussed with the Corporation Commissioner and his team of engineers.
Mayor Indrani Pon Vasanth told T he Hindu that she had visited a few low lying areas in the city just after the rains recently and held a meeting with the officials concerned. The rainwater stagnation would be rectified at the earliest, she assured.