CHENNAI: Abutting EVK Sampath Salai in Vepery is the Brethapet Street, a name which may not kindle anyone’s curiosity. But the street has a distinction attached to it. Back in 2004, the residents of this street became Chennai’s first citizens’ initiative to try out segregation of garbage at source.
The real mover behind the initiative supported by the Corporation was the flat owners’ association at Chandan Bala apartments, a multi-storey residential complex on the street. Today, the flat owners’ association president, Suresh Doshi, says although other residents of Brethapet Street have stopped following source segregation, the 96 flats of Chandan Bala still continue to collect the garbage separately. “As prescribed, we have two separate bags — green for biodegradable waste and red for plastics and other non-bio waste. We took this initiative to help the civic authorities towards maintaining a clean and sustainable city,” Doshi says.
One of the first multi-storey buildings to come up in the locality, Chandan Bala apartment was constructed in 1975, with the addition of two annexe buildings 15 years later. Doshi, who moved in there right at the beginning, says the initiative was possible due to the feeling of ‘closeness’ shared among all residents of the street. Stating that brotherhood is important to understand each other’s problems, Doshi says, “But now it is different. That’s why we would like to revive the idea of Brethapet Street Welfare Association which was initially mooted by us.” As far as Chandan Bala flats are concerned, the association has taken up various steps towards resident’s welfare. The installation of CCTVs few years ago was one such initiative that made its residents feel more secure. But its noteworthy achievement was putting in place a rainwater harvesting system (RWH), which came in handy during crisis.
“We have an efficient RWH system with all the conserved water discharged into a well on our premises. Around five years back, we faced severe water shortage, and thanks to the conserved rain water, we were able to pull through,” Doshi says.
As far as Chandan Bala flats are concerned, the association has taken up various steps towards resident’s welfare. The installation of CCTVs made its residents feel more secure. But its noteworthy feat was adopting rainwater harvesting (RWH) on its complex