Chennai

Infrastructure gaps, pollution persist in Chennai’s old industrial zone

Conservancy workers often manually segregate waste in their tricycles in Ambattur Zone as citizens ignore appeals by the civic body. File

Conservancy workers often manually segregate waste in their tricycles in Ambattur Zone as citizens ignore appeals by the civic body. File | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

Ambattur, one of the nine municipalities that were merged with the Greater Chennai Corporation in 2011, now is the eighth populous and the most industrialised zone of the city.

Although the zone has witnessed significant growth since its merger, both industrially and in terms of population, residents and industrialists highlighted the gap in addressing several fundamental issues.

Provisioning of the underground drainage system, stormwater drains, removal of encroachments, inferior quality of roads in many sections, pollution of water bodies and issues faced by the industrial units in Ambattur Industrial Estate (AIE) are some of the key areas the residents and entrepreneurs want the Council Members and Mayor, who are to be elected this month, to focus on.

Encroachments on roads and pavements remain a key concern in many pockets of the zone. A case in point is the Padikuppam Road, where more than one-third of the carriageway remained unusable for motorists and pedestrians because of haphazard parking, encroachments by shops and damages on the road.

J. Chidambara Perumal, a software professional and a resident of the road, who has raised the issue multiple times with the GCC, said although officials assured in writing of relaying the road and construction of pavement, nothing had materialised.

P. Selvam, a resident of Annai Nagar in the zone, said despite being included in the GCC more than a decade ago, underground drainage and stormwater drains were either non-existent or the structures were of substandard quality in several areas.

S. Sekharan, secretary, Korattur Lake Protection People’s Movement, said efforts had not been made to address the problem of pollution in Ambattur and Korattur lakes. He pointed out in particular to the 5.25-km long canal connecting the two water bodies.

“The canal supposed to carry the surplus water from Ambattur lake to Korattur lake during monsoon. However, most of the year the canal carries only sewage. The directions given by National Green Tribunal in a case filed by us have not been implemented,” Mr. Selvam said.

Precarious bridge

A visit to the Pattravakkam railway station, adjacent to which the canal runs, showed Mr. Sekharan’s allegation to be true. Apart from an iron bridge, passengers use a narrow bridge constructed with logs to cross the canal to access the station.

“During monsoon, it becomes difficult to cross the canal. Authorities should consider laying a wide concrete cover over this canal at this spot to make it easier for us,” said R. Mary Anitha, who commutes daily by train.

Industrial estate

Established in 1964, the Ambattur Industrial Estate is a key economic hub of not just the city, but the entire State.

A.N. Gireeshan, president of AIE Manufacturers’ Association (AIEMA), said several issues of the entrepreneurs in the estate need government’s attention.

Their key demands include steps to prevent flooding during monsoon, reintroduction of industrial category in property tax and prevention of ingress of sewage from residential areas. They have demanded that the government bodies take over the maintenance of main roads on which buses ply and the sewage treatment plants.

Election scene

Of the 15 wards in the zone, seven are reserved for women (general) and one is reserved for Scheduled Caste women. The main fight will be between the DMK and the Opposition AIADMK in 12 wards. In the remaining three, the AIADMK is facing DMK’s allies Congress (in two) and the Communist Party of India (in one).

While the BJP, the NTK, and the DMDK have fielded candidates in all 15 wards, the AMMK and the Makkal Needhi Maiam candidates are in the fray in 14 and 11 wards, respectively.


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2022 11:08:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/infrastructure-gaps-pollution-persist-in-chennais-old-industrial-zone/article65038011.ece