Residents say the open drains pose a hazard, and private lorries dump sewage into them; NHAI says work will be done in six months
Residents of Mogappair and Nolambur want the open stormwater drains along the service lanes off Chennai Bypass to be covered soon, to prevent accidents.
The two-km stretch between Ambattur Industrial Estate and Maduravoyal, off Chennai Bypass, continues to be an accident zone as a major portion of the canal is yet to be covered. Residents recalled the accident where a woman and her daughter died last year, after the two-wheeler they were riding skidded and fell into the open drain.
Earlier this year, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had started work to cover the canal with cement slabs for a distance of 700 metres. But this was stopped a few weeks before the Assembly elections.
Residents of Nolambur want NHAI authorities to resume work to cover the drains on the entire stretch on both the sides. This would also prevent private lorries from offloading sewage into the drain, they said.
S. Swaminathan, secretary, JAMBA United Welfare Association (a federation of residents’ welfare associations in the locality), said some incidents of animals falling into the drain were reported recently. The work must be resumed before the northeast monsoon to prevent accidents. The drain must be linked to the Cooum river to ensure smooth flow of floodwater. Damaged service lanes had to be repaired and encroachments cleared, he said.
Residents also want the maintenance work of the drains to be taken up periodically along with local bodies.
The NHAI had chalked out a project at a cost of nearly ₹15 crore to cover the stormwater drain for a length of 32.6 km along the bypass.
On the residents’ demands, officials of NHAI said work had been completed in the accident zone and tenders had been floated to cover the open drains in the remaining stretch of the service lane.
Financial bids for the project was expected to be opened next week. Work orders would be issued soon and the project would be completed in six months.
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