CHENNAI: Let the smart city plan be for the future. The need of the hour is proper basic facilities. This is what residents of T Nagar say.
At a meeting of the residents’ welfare association on Sunday, residents of the commercial hub gathered on Tanjore Road, to discuss the long-pending issues in their locality. Smart city was not a solution to any of them. “Sanitation and condition of roads are the most appalling issues that are unaddressed by the government,” said Prabhakar, head of Tanjore Road Residents’ Welfare Association and a resident for over 65 years at T Nagar. Several streets in T Nagar that were dug up for constructing storm water drains, have not been relaid.
While inner streets have bad roads, residents rued that main roads are occupied by street hawkers who, they said, are cause of more trouble. “Vendors and roadside eateries dump their waste in the residential parts. This attracts the presence of stray animals like cows and dogs while the dustbins overflow. Sweepers do not clean the roads regularly leaving the area stinking.”
He said sewage lines in T Nagar are as old as 65 years and yet to be laid afresh. S Jayaraman of Motilal street said roads are being relaid without milling. “This means the houses go below the level of road surface after the road is relaid. During rain, flood waters enter the sewer leading to overflows in the manholes and leaks in the pipelines.”
He said that this exposes the risk of diseases as sewage water mixes with groundwater. Jayaraman has been residing in T Nagar for the past 25 years. He also moderates a Facebook page for T Nagar residents. Water has become an even more serious issue in T Nagar as wells deeper than 25 feet are starting to yield pale yellow water. This has increased the need to depend on water lorries for everyday consumption.
V Jayanthi from Ramachandra Iyer Street said, “We are completely deprived of Metrowater on alternate days for a while now, especially after all the quantity was used to extinguish the fire in Chennai Silks building.” In other parts of the area, apartments depend on both private companies and Metrowater, both of which fail them in times of need, residents allege.