Madurai

Pipeline work on sans safety precautions

Corporation laying new drainage pipeline on North Chitirai street without any signboard in Madurai.

Corporation laying new drainage pipeline on North Chitirai street without any signboard in Madurai.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Corporation puts pedestrians at high risk on Chithirai streets

Heaps of sand and dust surround the four Chithirai streets around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, where the Madurai Corporation is currently laying drinking water pipelines and underground sewer lines. The project has put the pedestrians and devotees at high risk as the Corporation is undertaking the work without following any precautionary measures.

The streets, which fall within the Area Based Development Zone (ABDZ) of the Corporation, will soon be laid with cut stone blocks and as a preceding step the Corporation is undertaking the water pipeline and underground sewage work.

Many manhole chambers are left open without any warning signages or barricades, on North and West Chithirai streets. The open pits, which are around five feet deep, pose a serious threat to pedestrians and devotees.

“Due to the construction work, the pedestrians, especially children of the vendors, who play around the streets, are at constant risk as they can skid and fall into these pits,” says G. Savitha, a devotee.

At night, the situation is worse, as there are no fencing or reflectors to indicate the pits. “Many tourists, who are engrossed in taking pictures of the temple, cannot easily spot these pits at dark and could lead to untoward incidents,” says a shopkeeper from West Chithirai street.

Opposite the Gandhi statue on East Chithirai street, an open pit which is around two feet deep, had sewage stagnating due to leakage from an old sewage pipe.

“The pit was open without any fencing or warning signages for nearly a week. The officials placed the barricades on Wednesday morning, just before Corporation Commissioner inspected the construction work,” says a shopkeeper.

The construction debris was also dumped on platforms and it reduced the carriageway for the passengers.

A retired engineer from the Corporation says that construction in crowded places, like the Chithirai streets, must be carried out in a phased manner. “The temple sees a huge footfall every day and it is essential to place physical barricades around the construction pit,” he says.

When contacted, Corporation Commissioner S. Visakan said that he will instruct his officials to undertake necessary safety precautions at the construction site.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:00:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/pipeline-work-on-sans-safety-precautions/article29111789.ece

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