CHENNAI: Sukanya (name changed) who is three months pregnant, will have to skip her medical check up scheduled for Friday, thanks to Metrowater digging of Kamaraj Salai 9th street at Korattur.
With underground sewage connection work in progress, over 20 families are now trapped in their homes after workers piled up nearly five feet of soil outside their houses, blocking the entrance. Residents have to make their way up this mound to get out.
When Express visited the spot, both sides of the 20- feet road were dotted with piles of earth, making the first half of the street unusable for anyone, including pedestrians.
Although residents welcome the underground sewage connection in the area, the timing and the way the work is carried out have left them baffled.
“Usually, when the work is carried out, the soil used for the purpose will be brought in as and when required- it is not piled up waiting for it to be of use,” said Harris Sultan, a resident.
Older residents of the street said the thoughtless digging caused immense hardship for people like them.
“What if I had an emergency last night and had to be rushed to the hospital? I once tried to get out, but it was so difficult that I had to almost crawl my way out,” said 67-year-old Indra A.
Her neighbour, 74-year-old Aboobacker also said he had not dared to venture outside since the work started a week ago.
Construction of inspection chambers was completed in 2014 after which the underground sewage project in the area was stalled. It been taken up now again. The road had been dug around six metres deep for laying pipes.
“If it rains now, we will be in deep trouble. We already have clayey soil around here. People are going to fall every day, if it happens,” said Vinayagamoorthy, a resident. Being a driver, he is now forced to leave his car 2 km away, after which he comes home by foot.
Saravanan (name changed), another resident, who also owns a mechanic shop on the same road has not been able to open his shop for three days.
“If the shop is open, I make `500- `700 a day. For the third day today, I’m losing out on it,” he said.
When contacted, a Metrowater official said they had instructed workers to level the soil so that residents have no trouble going out. “By Thursday evening the issue will be resolved,” he said.