Chennai

‘Clear encroachments from water channel on Medavakkam Main Road’

Residents of Madipakkam have appealed to the Water Resources Department (WRD) to have encroachments on a rainwater channel removed. They also want the channel to be widened. Excess rainwater from the Keezhkattalai lake must flow through a channel, located on Medavakkam Main Road and Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam 200ft Radial Road, Eechangadu, before flowing into the Pallikaranai Marsh.

However, as the long channel has been encroached upon and is choked with garbage, the rainwater ends up flooding Madipakkam and nearby areas, instead of flowing into the marsh.

Moreover, sewage from the residential houses in Kovilambakkam, Nanmangalam and Nanganallur is let into the channel through stormwater drains. In addition to excess rainwater from Keezhkattalai lake, excess rainwater from Madipakkam lake flows through the drain and reaches the water channel.

P. Saravana Kumar, secretary, Federation of South Madipakkam Residents’ Welfare Association (FSMRWA), says, “Due to encroachments on the rainwater channel, excess rainwater from the lake does not flow into the wetland. Also, due to encroachment and dumping of garbage, the width of the channel has shrunk to 40ft from 80ft.”

During cyclone Vardah and last year’s flood, rainwater, mixed with sewage, flooded the residential houses in Madipakkam. Residents of Kuberan Nagar, which had 3 feet of stagnant water for a long time, were the worst affected.

“Residents could not move out of their houses and the entire neighbourhood became a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” Saravana adds. Several representations to the WRD to remove encroachments on the channel and to widen it have gone in vain. “At periodic intervals, we have requested the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to construct an underground drainage system to prevent discharge of sewage into stormwater drains, but our efforts have not yielded results,” members point out. An WRD official says, “We have asked the State government to grant us permission to demarcate the boundaries in coordination with the Revenue Department. We are waiting for a response to this request. Also, the government is searching for an ideal place to relocate encroachers.”

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 2:49:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/clear-encroachments-from-water-channel-on-medavakkam-main-road/article22704625.ece

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