It is officially called Rajiv Gandhi Salai, but it is known more popularly as Old Mamallapuram Road and Information Technology corridor. It was touted as the best thing to happen to Chennai when it started taking shape over a decade ago, during the boom in the software sector.
But the several thousand families living along OMR encounter bad roads, poorly lit streets, open drains and sewage stagnating outside their homes, today. “We pay water tax, but do not get water. The property tax we pay is higher than those living in posh localities in Chennai, but get nothing,” says Harsha Koda, a resident, who is part of an effort to bring residents of OMR under one strong civic group.
The federation of OMR Residents Associations — FOMRRA — hopes to bring nearly 400 residents’ welfare associations living in areas between Madhya Kailash and Mamallapuram together in a united struggle to highlight their grievances and raise their demands in a single voice. “Drinking water from the desalination plant is supplied as far as Thiruvanmiyur, but localities like Sholinganallur, which are much ahead, are deprived of it. Civic groups meet officials and elected representatives with the similar list of grievances. We want to raise such issues as part of a larger, stronger group,” Mr. Koda says, on the objective behind starting a federation.
The federation’s blog (fomrra.blogspot.in), says they have been suffering due to years of government apathy and the cartel formed by private water tanker and sewage disposal operators. The federation will also be taking up issues relating to traffic problems, road safety, water logging and encroachment among others. People who wish to join the federation can contact them at:firstname.lastname@example.org; facebook.com/groups/fomrra.