10 years on, T.N.’s largest Assembly constituency has no piped drinking water supply or underground drainage

Residents of Sholinganallur Assembly Constituency, an IT hub, staged a protest on Sunday demanding basic amenities; they contended that peripheral areas in north Chennai had better civic infrastructure than their area

Updated - March 12, 2023 09:33 pm IST

Published - March 12, 2023 09:32 pm IST - CHENNAI

The office-bearers of the Confederation of Sholinganallur Constituency Welfare Associations staging a protest near Thoraipakkam toll gate on Sunday.

The office-bearers of the Confederation of Sholinganallur Constituency Welfare Associations staging a protest near Thoraipakkam toll gate on Sunday. | Photo Credit: M. KARUNAKARAN

It has been 10 years since the Sholinganallur Assembly Constituency, the largest in the State in terms of number of voters, became part of the Greater Chennai Corporation. But, these areas continue to be without drinking water and sewer lines.

To highlight their plight, the residents on Sunday staged a protest at Thoraipakkam urging the State government to consider their plea for amenities.

“There are over 6.90 lakh voters spread across 20 wards who continue to depend on water tankers and sewage lorries. This constituency is an IT hub but IT companies, dwellers in large apartment complexes and people living in individual homes are yet to see any water or sewer connections,” said Swaminathan, a resident of Thoraipakkam.

D. Raman, president, Confederation of Sholinganallur Constituency Welfare Associations, said residents paid water and property taxes. They had the right to know the status of water and sewer lines. “We need a White Paper on the status of the connections. In some areas, though lines have been laid, they are yet to be connected. So far, not a single sewage pumping station has been constructed. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board and other government agencies must identify government land and construct water tanks, sumps and pumping stations,” he demanded.  

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said a powerful cartel by a section of politicians owning lorries was thwarting implementation of various projects in these areas. “Zones like Tiruvottiyur and Manali that were brought under the Greater Chennai Corporation at the same time have better infrastructure facilities than these two zones,” he pointed out.

Sholinganallur MLA S. Aravind Ramesh said the largest number of works among the Assembly constituencies in the city was on in Sholinganallur. “For the last 10 years, works were not carried out due to various reasons. Contractors could not complete the work and went to court. We have made efforts to get the stay orders vacated and resume incomplete works. Even storm-water drain construction work has been taken up at an estimated cost of ₹400 crores for the Sholinganallur constituency,” he said. 

The MLA said he was regularly monitoring the work carried out by the water board and the Greater Chennai Corporation. “In Perungudi and Kandanchavady, sewer lines will be ready in a month. In Sholinganallur, domestic connections are being provided. At Neelankarai and Semmanchery, the tendering process is under way and work will soon begin,” he said. 

Water lines ready

Sources said the water supply schemes were being implemented in the constituency and that they were in various stages. In places like Injambakkam and Sholinganallur, the network was ready, it was up to the residents to apply for connections.

Some wards in Injambakkam, Karapakkam and Sholinganallur already had over 1,400 connections, many wards in Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Perungudi had 1,050 connections. Pallikaranai, Jallandianpet and Uthandi too would see completion of the works soon, the officials said.

Most of the areas along the East Coast Road would get piped water supply by this year-end. Schemes for Neelankarai and Semmencheri were in tender notification stage. Moreover, tenders were being floated for sewerage projects in many areas, the officials said. 

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