CHENNAI: Over a decade after Tiruvottiyur was merged into Chennai Corporation, little has changed here. From unfinished drinking water and sewage projects to polluting factories, residents have flagged several issues. With the local body polls around the corner, residents hope that these issues in all the 14 wards will be resolved.
Projects to provide drinking water connection and underground sewage were initiated in the 14 wards under the zone more than two decades ago. However, they still remain unfinished. “Fishermen and contract workers form a bulk of the population. Several demands remain unfulfilled. On record, there used to be five playgrounds in the zone. However, all of them now have factories or were given for projects such as the Metro Rail,” said R Jayaraman, former chairman of the erstwhile Tiruvottiyur Municipality.
While nearly Rs 90 crore was allocated under the Jawarharlal Nehru Nation Urban Renewal Mission to lay pipelines for drinking water supply in 2010, two overhead tanks out of proposed six are yet to be built because the area where it was supposed to be built is marked as a waterway, and hence the project is pending. Due to this, wards 4 and 5 have no water supply. Waterlogging is another issue. The western region of the zone floods up even after a little rain, added Jayaraman.
Other major demands include stopping pollutants from factories, especially the fertiliser factory, and sea erosion. “We used to get good drinking water just a few feet from the surface. Industries have polluted it. Residents suffer from asthma and eye irritation due to the ammonia leak from the factory. We also oppose the proposal to set up a thermal power plant in Ennore. The Slum Clearance Board is building more than 6,000 houses near the proposed plant, which will constantly affect the residents,” said Bhakiyalakshmi, a resident.
“Due to sea erosion, the fishing hamlets like Nettukuppam, Thalanguppam, Enoore Kuppam, Mugadhuvarakuppam, Periyakuppam and Chinnakuppam are affected badly. The sand which is washed up in the ports should be used to prevent this and the industries should not be allowed to block the canals to the sea with untreated effluents,” said Parathasarathy, a fisherman.
This apart, garbage collection is also not done regularly. Toilet and drinking water facilities in schools are not maintained properly. “Toilets in the Ernavoor bus stand are not well kept. Construction of a railway subway from Ernavoor to access the two crematoriums is another demand,” said K Manikandan, a resident.