DMK cadre stage protest on Chennai’s Adyar River bed

DMK cadre on the Adyar river bed staging a protest on Saturday   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Over the years, the city has witnessed numerous protests, on the roads, in public places and more recently on the sands of the Marina. On Saturday, the cadres of the DMK, the main Opposition party in the State, staged a protest at the Adyar river alleging irregularities in the construction of a flood protection wall.

With the river flowing as a sewage stream on one side, hundreds of DMK cadre, including women entered the river bed near Saidapet abbatoir, after navigating garbage. Led by former Mayor and Saidapet MLA Ma. Subramanian, and two other MLAs, P. Thayagam Kavi and S. Arvind Ramesh, they put up a makeshift stage on the river and shouted slogans against the ruling AIADMK government and the alleged irregularities.

A sizeable number of police personnel were deployed with two Deputy Commissioners of Police, Adyar and T. Nagar who also came down and monitored the situation since the protest was conducted without obtaining permission.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has started work to erect a flood protection wall from Jaffarkhanpet bridge upto Saidapet on the bank sides of the Adyar river. The width of the river here is shorter, when compared to other parts of the city. This area was one of the worst affected during the December 2015 deluge, Mr. Subramanian said.

The government allocated ₹104 crore for constructing a flood protection wall along the banks following repeated demands from the DMK in the Assembly.

“Though ₹104 crore was allocated, the wall is being constructed only for 875 meters by spending a mere ₹18 crore. The authorities claim that they had strengthened the banks in the remaining areas with soil from the river bed,” he said alleging irregularities.

“As per specifications, the wall should be constructed using M-sand but the contractor is using the dirty river sand. Hence the stability of wall is questionable. Moreover, water with chemical effluents is also used. The wall will not protect people during floods,” he charged.

Residents would be affected in flooding situations in Thiruneermalai, Burma colony, Ambedkar Colony, MGR Nagar, Shoolai Pallam, Sarathy Nagar and Jothiammal Nagar, Jothi Ramalingam Nagar, Yogi Thottam, Atthumagar, Samiyar Thottam and Kotturpuram.

The DMK MLAs said though they gave a complaint to PWD secretary, there was no response. The protesting cadre along with the three DMK MLAs were taken into custody by police and were detained in a wedding hall.

M.S. Mani, a DMK veteran and a resident of Saidapet, said: “I’m with the party since 1967. No political party has ever entered into the dirty river and conducted a protest here. We are the first the protest inside the river for a public cause.”

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 5:40:55 PM |

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