Fishermen’s forum urge GCC to stop SWD work

In spite of Tamil Nadu State Coastal Management Authority’s order to drop the construction of stormwater drains along East Coast Road, Greater Chennai Corporation is continuing with the work

Updated - February 16, 2021 03:45 pm IST

Published - January 27, 2021 02:58 pm IST

Parambariya Meenava Makkal Paadhukaappu Kuzhu, a forum meant for the welfare of fishermen and their families, residing along the coastline from Besant Nagar to Kovalam, has requested the State government to drop the plan of constructing stormwater drains in the coastal region.

An order was issued in this regard by Tamil Nadu State Coastal Management Authority (TNSCMA) to the Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation, in December 2020.

K. P. Kosalraman, president of the Forum, says, “There is no need to construct stormwater drains in the coastal region as it is endowed with sandy soil. The sandy soil will help in the natural percolation of groundwater. ”

Last year, the Greater Chennai Corporation constructed stormwater drains from Kotttivakkam to Uthandi.

“Our forum played a key role in stopping the construction of the drains. After which the order was issued. The forum obtained a copy of the order under Right to Information (RTI) Act. However, the contractors were continuing with the construction even after the order was passed. We showed the contractors the order passed by TNSCMA, but they shot back, asking us of there was indeed an order to cover the channels. If steps are not taken at the earliest to cover the drains, residents will discharge sewage from their home septic tanks into them, which would result in the contamination of the groundwater. This would also also affect the fishing hamlets,” says Kosalraman.

The forum has sent petitions in this regard to the Chief Minister’s Cell and have taken up the issue with Sholinganallur MLA S. Aravind Ramesh; South Chennai MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian; and Minister for Fisheries, and Personal & Administrative Reforms, D. Jayakumar.

Kosalraman says, “At present, residents rely on tanker service to clear their septic tanks, for which they spend a lot.

Hence, instead of constructing stormwater drains, the State government can lay underground sewage pipes which is a necessity and will provide immense relief to residents.”

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