Monsoon woes: People knee-deep in worries as Chennai low-lying areas face inundation

The railways allegedly closed three culverts which were located on its land, and since then, the rainwater gets held up in Rangarajapuram, said corporation officials.
A woman walks in flooded water in front of her home to fetch water at Karukku Road Near Patravakkam Ambattur after recent rain lashed  Chennai. (Photo | P.Ravikumar, EPS)
A woman walks in flooded water in front of her home to fetch water at Karukku Road Near Patravakkam Ambattur after recent rain lashed Chennai. (Photo | P.Ravikumar, EPS)

CHENNAI: Water stagnation and sewage overflow remain the all too familiar adversities befalling Chennai residents every monsoon season. For instance, residents of Rangarajapuram in Kodambakkam have been navigating through knee-deep stagnant water for the past two days. The situation is no different in Subramania Nagar, Aziz Nagar, Parangusapuram Street and Rangarajapuram main road in Kodambakkam.  

The residents said the inundation of streets is further leading to power disruption. Rangarajapuram, being a low-lying area faces inundation every year. “Rainwater from Mambalam and Kodambakkam flows down to our area. But since this is a low-lying area, the stormwater drains also don’t serve its intended purpose,” said Kiruba of Kodambakkam. 

Houses in Arunthathiyar Nagar are flooded by sewage water and rain water | Express
Houses in Arunthathiyar Nagar are flooded by sewage water and rain water | Express

The railways allegedly closed three culverts which were located on its land, and since then, the rainwater has held up in Rangarajapuram, said corporation officials. The civic body has been deploying high-power motors to pump out stagnant water from the area. Rainwater from Rangarajapuram gradually drains into the Adyar river. But, to expedite the draining process, especially given the heavy rain alert over the weekend, the corporation has been leaving no stone unturned to pump out water from low-lying areas to the drains located at higher elevations.

“We have taken extra care to drain the stagnant water through the Trustpuram canal into Cooum river,” G S Sameeran, Joint Commissioner (Works) with the corporation told TNIE. However, the residents bat for a permanent solution to the issue. “Deploying high-power pumps and staff to drain out water should not become a routine affair. The corporation should renovate the drains so the structures become naturally capable of discharging rainwater,” says Madan C from Rangarajapuram. Meanwhile, sewage mixing with rainwater is the major predicament in the low-lying areas of Arunthathiyar Nagar near Vyasarpadi. Several houses in Govindapuram, Veeraraghavan Street and Sengan Street in Arunthathiyar Nagar are inundated with sewage water. 

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