Opposition from residents throws a spanner in the works of sewage pumping plant in Chennai
CHENNAI: The construction of a sewage pumping station in Pammal came to a grinding halt on Sunday after the local residents opposed the move following concerns of probable groundwater pollution.
The Tambaram corporation had previously commenced underground drainage works in Pammal and Anakaputhur for Rs 212 crore. As part of this, sewage pumping stations are being built in five locations and they will be connected to a sewage treatment plant (STP), construction for which is also underway.
One of the sewage pumping stations was proposed to be constructed on a vacant plot at Anna Salai in Pammal. “However, the corporation hurriedly began the work on a public holiday (January 26). An earlier plan to construct the station in this residential area was dropped in 2021 owing to public opposition,” the residents said.
M Raghuveeran, an advocate from Pammal, said the residents had continuously expressed their opposition to the pumping station’s construction. “It will pollute the groundwater and even the nearby ponds and other waterbodies. This residential area will become unfit to live in,” he said.
The vacant land reportedly belonged to a local temple and a pond was situated there. “This plot was leased out by the temple administration. With the temple currently under the aegis of the HR&CE department, the pumping station is being forced on us without taking the people into confidence,” says T T Sambandam, a resident of Pammal.
According to the public, due to the blasting work associated with the construction, cracks have already formed on some nearby houses. Meanwhile, Tambaram corporation officials continue to maintain that the pumping station will not affect the locality.
“Barring a few voices of dissent, the construction has not been met with widespread opposition. The site is a convenient place to build the pumping station and we began the work after obtaining all necessary permissions. The underground sewage systems will be connected to a treatment plant and the works will be completed by June,” a senior corporation official told TNIE.