CHENNAI: Around 100 residents of Kattabomman Nagar and Om Sakthi Nagar of Zamin Pallavaram stormed into the Pallavaram Municipality on Thursday after their petitions for removal of encroachments, completion of underground sewage lines and patchwork on roads were sidelined by the civic body.
Residents allege that the Commissioner of municipality initially refused to meet them claiming that he was not in office and was forced to meet representatives from the respective residential associations only after they barged into his office.
“It has been five years since the municipality started the underground sewage work in our area and it has not been finished still. Sewage stagnates and poses a serious health concern,” said C K Vasanthakumar, secretary of Kattabomman Nagar Veetu Urimaiyalargal Nala Sangam. “The fact is that each resident has contributed `10,560 for the sewage system and still it has not been completed. This has enraged residents,” he told Express.
When Express visited the area, it found two canals mentioned in the area sketch missing and almost completely encroached upon.
“After the floods of 2015, when the area was completely inundated we realised something was amiss,” said K Muralidharan, who has been actively fighting for the removal of encroachments on canals which once flowed from Tirusulam hillock to Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam radial road.
“Since then, with repeated petitions to various government bodies, four residential buildings ( in survey number 186/2A) which stand in the path of the first canal have been issued notice by PWD and marked for demolition, but still remain.
When contacted Mahendra Kumar, Junior Engineer, PWD, regarding the delay, he said “There are certain procedures which have to be followed.”
However, Express accessed records in which Mahendra Kumar has issued form 3 notice ( the final notice ) as early as February 2017, to the four residential buildings asking them to vacate within 21 days.
In another case, R Rajabharathi, another resident had informed the municipality in 2014 about a neighbour constructing a ladies hostel through which the second canal was supposed to pass. The inaction forced him to file a writ petition in the High court.
The court had then ordered the municipality to remove the encroachment. Further inaction by the municipality forced Rajabharathi to file a contempt petition in 2015. When Express visited the site on Thursday it found the ladies hostel still standing though seemingly vacant.