Residents want authorities to speed up work on constructing concrete slabs on widened stormwater drains

Open stormwater drains in several parts of Anna Nagar and its neighbouring areas are turning dangerous for motorists and pedestrians. As many motorists use the key link roads and arterial stretches like CTH Road, these open drains can prove lethal as many of them are at the same height as the road.

Many motorists from Ambattur, Pattaravakkam, Annanoor, Thirumullavoyal, Korattur, Mannurpet, Anna Nagar West and Padi use street lanes and link roads to reach the central parts of the city via ICF, Ayanavaram and Kilpauk on CTH Road.

Many streets in these areas are narrow and have open stormwater drains. Due to the delay in the completion of the existing Underground Drainage System (UGD) project in Zone – 7 (Ambattur) of Greater Chennai Corporation for more than a decade, most residents conveniently discharge domestic waste water into the open stormwater drains, which are connected to the nearby ponds and lakes.

As per norms, the existing open stormwater drains should be around three feet deep and the width of the drain depends on the total width of the stretch.

“Most of the open drains have become breeding ground for mosquitoes due to discharge of domestic waste by residents,” says T. Gunaseelan, a long-time resident in Ambattur. He suggests that such open drains be constructed with concrete slabs on them, so that they also serve as footpath for walkers, especially on narrow stretches like CTH Road.

Contamination of waterbodies through discharge of waste water via such drains is another serious issue.

Now, small buses find it difficult to make their way through the narrow lanes where such open drains exist.

MTC drivers say they look forward to driving on these congested lanes at night. The open drains also pollute old water pipelines in the neighbourhood due to seepage.

Corporation officials say service connections for the underground drainage system are being given in the newly-added areas like Ambattur, so the problem of discharge in open stormwater drains is on a decline.

Further, provisions are also being made to have at least concrete slabs on the newly-widened stormwater drains in Anna Nagar and adjoining areas.

“Steps will be taken to prevent such illegal discharge of waste water into such drains and also to close such drains with concrete slabs,” says a Corporation official.

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