Students of Oriental School on Shankar Nagar Fourth Street sing rhymes with a constant buzz in the background.

Principal V. Paridhabegam attributes it to influx of insects and mosquitoes in the nearby stormwater drain.

This drainage has been a cause of concern for residents and students for the past 10 years .

Lying between Thozhil Pettai Colony (part of Ward 45 Pudur) and Shankar Nagar, this drain which rakes up garbage from K. Pudur, eventually flows into the Vandiyur tank.

It carries Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO) Industrial Estate’s untreated drainage and causes diseases, says A. Paramasamy, president, Resident Association of Thozhil Nagar.

As a resident of the area for 60 years, he says the land was first allocated to members working in companies located inside the estate. “What was supposed to be a place of development lies in a state of disarray. Roads inside the premises are battered and the stormwater drain carries mounds of plastic bags. Water is provided to residents once in a week.”

The area falls under Corporation limits but its workers rarely visit it.

“Roads were laid in some parts two years ago. That was the only development,” he says.

Others including M. Eswari, M.Jeevitha and B. Manimeghalai, all residents of Thozhil Nagar, say that garbage collectors never visit the ward.

They landed here about five to six years ago.

“The stormwater drain is basically a dump for the public. People throw dead animals, dump clothes, biodegradable waste and tonnes and tonnes of garbage here. They burn the garbage sometime to make the situation worse. The stench was unbearable,” says Mrs. Eswari. They say that lack of dustbins, door to door collection and education are the primary cause for their woes.

“We have asked the public to stop throwing waste here but nobody listens. Men come at night and dump the waste when no one is watching. Only those who live close to the drain understand the pain,” says Mrs. Manimegalai.

The Principal of Oriental School says that children are worst affected.

She says that the monsoon turns the situation more difficult for the school management.

On some occasions, waste and drainage spill over roads causing a major problem to students.

“The corporation must take immediate action to help school children and residents. Unless steps are taken before monsoon to clear the storm water drains, people will fall sick,” she adds.

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