Chennai

The journey of Chitlapakkam SSNRA

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Recently, SSNRA celebrated its19th anniversary and it was a time to take stock of things

In recent days, members of Sri Sarvamangala Nagar Residents’ Association (SSNRA) in Chitlapakkam have been on a rewind mode.

They celebrated the 19th anniversry of the inception of their association.

Since 1998, they have taken up the cudgels for residents of many localities in the region, including Chitlapakkam, Pallavaram, Tambaram Sanatorium and Mahalakshmi Nagar. They have faithfully communicated the concerns of these residents to civic authorities and elected representatives.

The association set sail in 1998 under the presidentship of P.N. Srinivasan, a freedom fighter and social activist.

K. Ramakrishna, executive committe member, SSNRA, says, “When I moved into the neighbourhood in 1995, it was lacking in basic civic amenities. There weren’t proper roads, enough illumination, public transport and drinking water supply.”

“Travelling on the mud roads after sunset was a nightmare. As there was illumination, we set up lamps outside our houses.”

“We approached the authorities concerned and elected representatives seeking provision of basic civic amenities, construction of culverts, stormwater drains and Palar drinking water house connections. Later, the Association joined the Co-ordination Committee of Welfare Associations of Chitlapakkam led by P. Vishwanathan, a veteran social activist and started concentrating on the restoration of Chitlapakkam lake and issues bothering the residents of Chitlapakkam,” he points out.

Slowly, spreading its wings, the Association started concentrating on the restoration of Sembakkam lake.

In 2007, the Association members stopped trash and sewer trucks from dumping garbage and discharging sewage in the lake at Chitlapakkam.

The Association stopped dumping of garbage and industrial effluents by the Pallavapuram Municipality, erstwhile Chitlapakkam Town Panchayat and Sembakkam Town Panchayat at the lake by taking up with the issue with the Tamil Nadu Environmental Board in 2008.

The Sembakkam Municipality has constructed a facilitation centre for segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste on the lake area.

To have this removed, the Association along with Sembakkam Civic Welfare Association, Venugopal Swamy Nagar Extension, Vigneshwara Avenue and Senthil Avenue Residents Association took up the issue with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) requesting it to restrain the Municipality from dumping garbage and also filed a case on March 24, 2014.

In addition, the Association has been persistently sending petitions to government forums, agencies and authorities, including the CM’s Cell, Water Resources Department, the Kancheepuram Collector, Tambaram Tahsildar and Tambaram Revenue Divisional Officer to remove garbage, clear encroachments and restore the lake. In 2015, a weir was constructed.

“Today, the groundwater is contaminated as sewage is being let into it through stormwater drains. The need of the hour is to construct an underground drainage system to prevent sewage from being discharged into the lake through stormwater drains,” says M. Ravi, secretary, SSNRA. The association also played a pivotal role in the introduction of shareautos from Tambaram Sanatorium railway station to areas in Chitlapakkam and back to the railway station. It also campaigned successfully for the introduction of small buses S8 (Tambaram West – Hasthinapuram) and S3 (Chromepet – Madambakkam).

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:30:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/the-journey-of-chitlapakkam-ssnra/article22917956.ece

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