Locals worried as pollution of Cooum goes unchecked

Adjoining Thiruverkadu, near Velappanchavadi around 100 private sewage lorries have been disposing of untreated sewage into the stormwater drains every day for nearly a decade now.

Published: 10th May 2019 05:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2019 05:14 AM   |  A+A-

Raw sewage being disposed into the Cooum River by a private tanker near Thiruverkadu. Some lorries don’t have number plates, say locals | R Satish Babu

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Adjoining Thiruverkadu, near Velappanchavadi around 100 private sewage lorries have been disposing of untreated sewage into the stormwater drains every day for nearly a decade now. Such instances of constant pollution to the Cooum river in and around Poonamallee and Maduravoyal are only increasing in frequency with no efforts taken by the authorities to stop it. One such location where sewage is dumped into the stormwater drains is Noombal Road near Maduravoyal bypass in Poonamallee. Due to constant dumping, sludge from the sewage has accumulated in the drains, blocking them. As a result, sewage overflows onto the road raising a stink, preventing pedestrians from walking on the sidewalks.

Though this activity has been going on without any interruption for 10 years now, residents are hesitant to approach the authorities. Locals said that they were apprehensive of seeking help from authorities concerned as these private lorries are part of a nexus backed by local politicians. “Though the spot where they dump sewage is less than 200 metres from the Chennai-Vellore highway, these private tankers fear none. They continue doing this out in the open in broad daylight. Between 2 pm and 5 pm, I have seen 20 lorries, standing in a queue to dispose of sewage into the drain. Residents are scared to complain,” said a resident of Noombal near Iyyappanthangal.

As a majority of houses in and around Poonamallee, Thiruverkadu, and Maduravoyal are not connected to the underground sewage system, sewage being dumped into stormwater drains is a common occurrence here. Four km away, along 200 ft Vanagaram-Ambattur Bypass road the same activity continues to happen uncurbed for five years now. Express previously reported this in September, 2018. Even though residents have complained to the Tiruvallur Collector, Block Development Officer and police officials, no action has been taken yet. “We residents are fed up with trusting the authorities. We learnt that all officials are bribed,” said JC Jeyachandran, a resident of KG Signature City.

When Express contacted Tiruvallur Collector Mageshwari Ravikumar, she said a special team consisting of municipal, police, RTO and block developmental officials will be formed to stop this menace. “Three months ago, we caught a group of lorries, seized them and also levied a penalty of `1 lakh on the owners. But this continues to happen actively. We have compiled a list of such locations and stern action will be taken against the offenders,” she added.


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