Residents struggle with garbage, sewage and poor hygiene in Chennai’s Gaudiya Math Road

A resident of Thomiayappan Street off Gaudiya Math in Royspettah shows the dirty water. Photo   | Photo Credit: R. Sujatha

The 20-feet wide Thomiayappan Street in ward 118, that is off Gaudiya Math Road, houses scores of houses and forms the frontage for housing board tenements further down the street. But residents on the eastern side of the street face a range of issues – including blocked sewage pipelines, unpotable water and stagnant water from overnight rain.

The affected part of the street is congested and has at least 1,000 residents, according to M.A. Sheriff, who became a resident six years ago. Since then he has been battling for better amenities, but with little result.

“Two years ago we collected 100 signatures and gave it to the Chennai Corporation urging them to lay a proper road. They laid a cement road,” says his daughter Sheriffa. But during the subsequent rain the road was washed away leaving only gritty pebbles, says Mr. Sheriff. Though he has installed a hand pump there is no water supply.

Mary Rajagambiram, who has been living on the street for the past 40 years, says hygiene is poor as garbage is not removed regularly.

Kannika holds up a bottle of water that passes for supply from the Chennai Metrowater-installed hand pumps. “For two years there has been so supply from the hand pump and now when they resumed, this is the quality,” she says of the grey water. The women say they pay ₹1 or 2 per pot that they fill from the roadside water tank.

Kalaivani, whose husband is a conductor in the Metropolitan Transport Corporation says several children in the street have fallen sick with fever. “There is a health centre nearby and we visit it,” she adds.

Saraswathi, also a long-time resident complains that the drains are not cleaned. A sewage outlet often overflows and the sewage flows into homes, complains Shyamala who is also care taker of her stroke-affected family member.

These residents blame the housing board residents further down the street for their woes. According to them the residents in the three-storey structure throw plastic wastes. The wider drain pipes carry the garbage and dump it in to the chamber outside their house, they say.

Venkatesh, an auto driver, says a simple measure such as placing a mesh would prevent the garbage from blocking the drainage system. Mr. Sheriff has written several letters to Corporation officials, met with the assistant and executive engineers but nothing has come of it.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:51:18 PM |

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