Chennai

Several promises about Ambattur remain unkept

This suburb along the Chennai Tiruvallur High Road has grown leaps and bounds in the past decade with many settlers. The development of Ambattur, which has found a place in the expanded map of Chennai Corporation, has been hardly matched with infrastructure.

Many promises have not been kept by the elected representatives about improvement of the civic amenities at this special grade municipality now included as Zone 7 of the expanded Chennai. Spread across 38.52 sq.km., Ambattur has a population of 3.10 lakh as per 2001 census. Its 52 wards have been delineated into 15 wards (Wards 79 to 93 of Corporation) with a voter base of 3.01 lakh.

The locality, which was originally an industrial belt, is now sought after by residents and IT companies for its proximity to the city.

The main grouse of the voters is that the underground drainage project, which was announced over a decade ago and started in 2004, is yet to be completed. Residents said they paid a deposit of Rs.7,000 a decade ago and are yet to receive sewage connection. Besides problems with contractors, the project suffered because of differences between the elected representatives of various political parties.

Merlin Samuel, a resident of Thillai Nagar, Korattur, said “The work to lay sewer pipeline went on for nearly two years and all the roads were dug up. I endure bumpy rides, as the trenches have not been closed properly. I also have to bear with mosquitoes and stench from the sewage stagnant in the open canal.” Residents of other parts of Korattur, including Agraharam, have to put up with release of industrial effluent too.

Though the Chennai bypass from Madhavaram and Tambaram has been advantageous to Ambattur in bringing down heavy vehicular traffic, congestion continues on the arterial CTH Road (NH 205) owing to its shrunken space. T.Gunaseelan of GNG Colony said the road width of 100 feet has shrunk by half owing to encroachments. Flooding during monsoon worsened motorists' plight who already vie for space.

Residents demanded that the road widening project, which was deferred following traders' protests, be taken up wherever possible. The unpaved portions of the road could be blacktopped to prevent encroachment.

Though some councillors had neglected council meetings, roads in areas such as Mogappair, Ram Nagar and Banu Nagar have not been laid, residents complained.

Threat of inundation

Meenambal Ramanathan of Prithvipakkam said many low level areas face the threat of inundation as there was no storm water drain network. “We hope work to provide piped water supply will be expedited by the new administration. Residents buy water from private tankers for Rs.4 per pot,” she said.

Residents also insisted that the waterbodies such as those in Ambattur and Korattur be restored. The overflowing dumping yard at Athipet and failure of privatisation to clear garbage are bound to be challenges for the new administration. The integrated SWM project in Kuthambakkam has hit a road block owing to residents' protest.

Members of Government Tax and Bill Payers Association said several lakhs of money was spent towards levelling garbage. The new administration must find means to improve waste disposal system and also upgrade computerised services.

Some of the other promises that remain unfulfilled include improvement to Ambattur OT stand and farmers' market, widening of road over bridge near farmers' market and establishment of Kallikuppam bus terminus and government hospital. Members of the Ambattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association also seek the support of the civic body in maintaining the estate and flood prevention.

Frustrated over the negligence of civic demands by councillors, Federation of Mogappair Residents' Welfare Association is fielding one of its members as an independent candidate. The Federation's general secretary S.Rajahgopal said: “We sought the help of elected representatives to lay roads, improve transport connectivity to Mogappair eri scheme and prevent sewage flow in canals for a decade now. None of our demands were met and we decided to field our member V.S.Srikanth in this election to provide basic amenities.”

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 12:10:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/several-promises-about-ambattur-remain-unkept/article2524888.ece

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