Chennai

Flood of worries over township

Residents fear the construction will block the water course to the Chembarambakkam Lake. — Photo: R. Ragu   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

The once lush greenery that spanned as far as the eye could see from the Chennai-Bangalore Highway has almost vanished and has been replaced with a kutcha road, which leads to the construction site of the Thirumazhisai Satellite Township in Tiruvallur district.

The residents of the surrounding villages fought the idea of the township tooth and nail, but have come to realise that the construction is a fait accompli. They, however, remain anxious about the overall ecological impact it could have by blocking the water course to the Chembarambakkam Lake.

The villagers of Parvatharajapuram, Narasingapuram and Kuthambakkam, even while rueing the loss of ‘fertile’ agricultural land to a concrete jungle, are terribly concerned about the disaster the township would face and also cause to the north of the city.

At present, with the approach road branching off from the Chennai Bangalore Highway having been laid, construction activity is in full swing.

‘No lessons learnt’

R. Elango, former president, Kuthambakkam village panchayat, said it is disturbing to note the State administration has not learnt any lessons from the previous year’s floods.

Standing on the approach road, Mr. Elango said nearly 10 feet of rainwater had submerged the entire ‘supposed’ township site in December, with access to the Chennai-Bangalore Highway cut off for a few days. He also said one could not imagine the fate of the downstream areas of Thirumazhisai, Maduravoyal, Thiruverkadu, and Anna Nagar, in case of any major bout of rain.

Though the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) claims to have taken into account last year’s flooding and has started constructing a retaining wall along the present approach road, he wondered about the possibility of ‘channelling’ the huge flow of rainwater through a canal into the Chembarambakkam Lake.

The scars of last year’s rain could be seen in several houses located behind the Sidco Industrial Estate in Thirumazhisai.

The approach road itself has been formed along the bund of the supposed canal that drained the surplus rainwater from various parts of Tiruvallur district into the Chembarambakkam Lake.

R. Mohan, a resident of South Mada Street, Chembarambakkam, said rainwater had flooded their street and stagnated for more than a week.

He said the compound wall of the house, which is located near the TNHB satellite township site, was fully under water.

The State government proposes to construct the satellite townnship at Thirumazhisai spread over an extent of 310.42 acres of land acquired by the TNHB under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 8:47:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Flood-of-worries-over-township/article14623373.ece

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