CHENNAI: The misgivings of the residents of Zamin Pallavaram have come true. After the previous monsoon, they had feared rapid development along the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam link road would wipe out an important canal that mitigates flooding. Today, a three-metre-high wall has come up on Putheri canal, completely obstructing flow of water.
The Putheri canal takes excess water from Putheri and Pallavaram lakes to Keelkattalai lake and prevents flooding the area during monsoon. What was once agricultural land is now a highly appraised residential hub and developers are changing the topography according to their needs, it is pointed out.
“While the occupants of the apartment complexes will remain dry if the area floods, residents of Om Sakthi Nagar and its extension will have to vacate their houses,” said a local activist David Manohar, explaining that the obstruction of Putheri Canal can have disastrous effects on the whole Zamin Pallavaram area.
The wall seems to be a divider between a commercial real estate developer and a residential developer but both parties have distanced themselves from the construction. Both the parties assured that an alternate channel would be provided to ensure there is no flood risk to nearby areas. “An arrangement will be made to reroute the canal if the wall is completely obstructing the flow of water in the canal,” said a representative of the residential developer.
But the Madras High Court has stopped the CMDA’s provision to allow real estate developers to reroute water channels that traverse their sites. A senior bureaucrat designated to ensure protection of water bodies in Kancheepuram district stopped a real estate developer along the same stretch from rerouting a water channel which empties into Putheri canal two weeks ago.
However, it is learnt that the obstruction of the Putheri canal by the wall is yet to be addressed, causing much woe to residents.