Kottapattu Peiyakulam overflows, water enters Anna Science Centre premises

November 11, 2021 07:18 pm | Updated 07:18 pm IST - Tiruchi

The Anna Science Centre - Planetarium campus is almost submerged due to overflow of a nearby tank in Tiruchi on Thursday.

The Anna Science Centre - Planetarium campus is almost submerged due to overflow of a nearby tank in Tiruchi on Thursday.

The premises of Anna Science Centre -Planetarium on Pudukottai Road has been inundated due to inflow of excess water from Kottapattu Periyakulam. More than half of the 10-acre campus is underwater and it would only recede if a proper channel is made for its flow, activists alert.

The ground floor of the Activity Centre and Innovation Hub - both new blocks constructed on the Anna Science Centre- Planetarium campus have been flooded. The compound wall of the campus is under water to an extent of at least six feet. “Officials had, in the past, requested authorities to construct the campus at a higher elevation or allot land elsewhere. The representations were ignored”, a regular visitor said requesting anonymity.

Equipment from the activity centre, electronics including projectors and various expensive items had to be shifted to various other parts of the campus, as it remains closed due to the flooding. “We opened only on August 25 after closing down for 18 months due to COVID-19. We anticipate closure till December by when the water is expected to recede,” the official said.

The planetarium lies close to the Kottapattu Periyakulam which is also surrounded by a government arts and science college, a milk processing unit and a highway.

The Kottapattu Periyakulam has borne the brunt of rapid urbanisation and encroachments. Its waters had irrigated agricultural fields for generations, locals said. The waterbody is at risk of overflowing and flooding residential areas on Pudukottai Road, Khajamalai and surrounding areas.

K. C. Neelamegam, Secretary of Thaneer, a voluntary organisation, blames the local administration for the mismanagement.

The civic body had blocked all outlets from the waterbody. “Though it has not rained for many days at a stretch in Tiruchi, the authorities must act fast and learn from the mistakes made in Chennai,” he said. The only solution is to clear the encroachments and desilt the path constructed for the flow of water. Else, it will overflow on the National Highway or into the educational institution, he warned.

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