Consult us before taking up SWD work, say ECR residents

Residents feel the project will hinder recharge of groundwater.   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Greater Chennai Corporation to revisit the project for construction of an integrated stormwater drain network along the East Coast Road for feasibility of collection and reuse of rainwater.

Following the NGT directive, residents’ welfare associations along the ECR want the government agencies to hold consultations with them before proceeding with any fresh proposals.

The residents had opposed the ₹1,243.45 crore project that was taken up with funding from the KfW, the German Development Bank. As the project covered areas between Kottivakkam and Muttukadu, residents opposed the move on the grounds that the construction of the drain would hinder groundwater recharge in areas that did not have piped water network, and also filed a petition with the NGT.

Taking into account the observations of the joint committee, the NGT said the government and the project implementing agency may revisit the project and rope in institutions like IIT-Madras for providing expert view. Moreover, the project must be executed only after the required Coastal Regulation Zone clearance.

Drinking water supply

Meanwhile, residents’ associations said government agencies should consider expediting the process of providing drinking water supply and underground sewerage network in areas along ECR.

R. Balakrishnan, treasurer, VGP Golden Seaview Residents’ Welfare Association, Palavakkam, said the GCC must consult residents before proceeding with any fresh proposals. The SWD work had been stopped in Palkalai Nagar. “Our area has been provided with water lines and the project is under trial. But many localities still depend on groundwater and private water supply. We plan to meet next week to discuss the next course of action,” he said.

Sources in the Corporation said the civic body had applied for post facto CRZ clearance, and had roped in experts from IIT-Madras for their opinion. It will comply with the orders of the NGT.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 10:43:27 AM |

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