Old UGD system remains a major issue in prime areas in Madurai, residents seek permanent solution

Sewage overflow is one of the major issues reported in prime areas like Sellur.
Frequent blockage in underground drainage pipelines leaves the sewage to flow in the roads in Kamarajarpuram in Madurai
Frequent blockage in underground drainage pipelines leaves the sewage to flow in the roads in Kamarajarpuram in Madurai ( Photo | KK Sundar, EPS)

MADURAI: As residents of prime areas like Sellur seek a permanent solution to blockages in the underground drainage system in Madurai, which has resulted in sewage overflow in several areas, the city corporation has said that it is chalking out a plan to resolve the issues.

According to an online portal of the city corporation, over 23,000 complaints pertaining to sewage issues in the city have been submitted in a year. Sewage overflow is one of the major issues reported in prime areas like Sellur. Even though the city corporation clears the blockage in the drainage system manually or using suction machines, residents have dismissed these measures as temporary and seek a permanent solution.

Speaking about the frequent sewage overflow issues, MP Sankara Pandian, of ward 23, said, "Blocked lines and sewage overflow remain major issues in Sellur area, especially in wards 23, 24, 27, and 25. Even though the situation is being addressed by the corporation, the situation returns to the same two days later. Last week, sewage from the UGD lines flowed onto three streets and the situation persisted for over two days, before the corporation cleared it. Such situations can also be spotted near the local police station road. Despite several protests, the issue has not been resolved. Every time we stage a protest, only the blockage is cleared." He added that the stagnated sewage on the roads is a health hazard.

Solai M Raja, ward 64 councillor and AIADMK functionary from Madurai, stated that UGD lines in the prime areas are around two decades old, and are unable to handle the current load. "It gets clogged, which results in overflow. The whole system has to be revamped to solve this prolonging issue. Under the AMRUT scheme, projects could be initiated to remodel the UGD system," he said and added that works are going on in some areas. Raja, however, noted that the new lines should be planned based on the future demand to prevent further clogging.

Reiterating Raja's point, City Corporation Commissioner C Dinesh Kumar said, "Many UGD lines are old and are struggling to handle the load. The city corporation is taking measures to prevent blockages. In Sellur, we have started work on replacing a few damaged pipelines. Based on the recent interim report submitted on the condition of the UGD system in the city, the city corporation will carry out maintenance works in the prime areas. Revamping the whole system will require more funds." He has, however, assured that any complaints regarding UGD blockages or overflow are being addressed. In cases of recent sewage overflow in wards 23 and 24 were addressed shortly after the issue was flagged, he added.

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