Residents of Madhavaram demand Thanikachalam Nagar drain be restored as a flood water carrier

Residents living along Thanikachalam Nagar drain, Madhavaram complain that the surplus course carries sewage throughout the year   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

For five years now, residents living along Thanikachalam Nagar drain, Madhavaram, have not opened windows in their houses, because of a stench of sewage and the menace of mosquitoes. Residents complain that the surplus course from Retteri lake has turned into a sewage carrier over the past few years.

The two-km long canal was formed about two decades ago to mitigate flooding in Kolathur, Thanikachalam Nagar and neighbouring areas. It carries excess water from Retteri, travels through United India Colony, Kolathur and 18 colonies in Thanikachalam Nagar, including Balaji Nagar and Kumaran Nagar before joining Captain Cotton Canal near Moolakadai.

Members of the Federation of Thanikachalam Nagar Residents’ Welfare Associations recalled that nearly 17 feet of space was acquired from the 40-ft road to form the canal two decades ago. Residents had signed for the project as it would reduce flooding. But now, the canal is more of a sewage carrier as raw sewage is being pumped into the canal from Anjugam Nagar, Kolathur.

Residents complained that Chennai Metrowater released sewage into the canal twice a day citing insufficient capacity that caused bursts in pipelines. Direct discharge of sewage is evident in many locations of the canal, the residents said.

M. Damodaran, former president of Swami Ramalinga Colony Residents’ Welfare Association, said the canal runs along the compound wall of many houses. “We don't have space for parking vehicles and have to cross a small path to reach our house from the road. Relatives avoid visiting our houses fearing health hazards and stench. We agreed for the construction of the canal as it was to convey flood water during monsoon. Several complaints have been made to arrest sewage discharge into the canal,” he said.

Officials of the Water Resources Department said improvement works of Thanikachalam Nagar drain, which carries flood water from Retteri lake and Kolathur, have been included in the ₹3,000 crore proposal for permanent flood mitigation. Besides repairing retaining wall and desilting the canal, work would be taken up to arrest sewage.

Metrowater has also started work to improve capacity of sewer network and the release into the canal would be stopped soon, officials said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 10:19:39 PM |

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