Madurai

Agitation forces minister to visit waterlogged areas

The encroachments all along the waterways of the town will be identified with the help of maps and removed to ensure immediate draining of rainwater stagnating at several places, Minister for Social Welfare P. Geetha Jeevan has said.

Rainwater stagnation makes residents to spend sleepless nights as the sewage has mixed with the stagnant water and seeped into to the drinking water pipes through cracks since mid-November. Though the corporation has deployed around 400 pumps across the town to pump out stagnant sewage and rainwater, the result is not impressive as this effort has miserably failed to solve the problem.

The prime reason behind this issue is the non-cooperation of the lower-level corporation staff, who do not operate the pumps round-the-clock to pump out the sewage-mixed rainwater. While the pumps deployed on the arterial and other important roads are properly operated to escape from the wrath of the higher-ups and the public, the motors kept at interior areas housing middle-class families are kept idle after operating them for a couple of hours.

Consequently, the town witnessed road roko agitations at five places on Monday and Tuesday which compelled the Minister to visit these areas on Wednesday. However, she did not visit Annai Velankanni Nagar near Krishnarajapuram North where the residents are battling rainwater mixed with sewage for the past 14 days. When the agitated residents threatened to hoist black flags on the day when Chief Minister M.K. Stalin visited Thoothukudi, the authorities silenced them.

After visiting a few rain-hit and waterlogged places along with Collector K. Senthil Raj and Corporation Commissioner T. Charusree, Ms Geetha said the unprecedented heavy downpour and the improperly implemented Smart City project works were the reasons behind the water stagnation in Thoothukudi.

Eight teams had been formed to identify the encroachments made across the waterways and drainage channels by using the old maps available with the Corporation to find permanent solution to this problem. After completing this task within a week, the encroachment eviction drive would start. As a temporary relief measure, steps were being taken to lay pipes for about 3.50 km along the Ettaiyapuram highway to pump out the stagnant water in this area.

“Moreover, ₹ 187 crore will be spent with the funding of Asian Development Bank for creating drainage channels at Dhanasekaran Nagar and Muththammal Colony,” she said.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 11:50:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/minister/article37900303.ece

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