According to Sunil Jayaram of Chitlapakkam Rising, an activist group in the locality, a recent road work on Raghavendra Street had increased the road height by four inches.
He says, “The order passed after a (Public Interest Litigation) PIL mentioned that the stretches had to be milled, ensuring that it doesn’t increase the height. However, the stretch freshly laid is in complete violation,” he said.
He added that the increase in height made the houses on the stretch prone to flooding, like it had happened during the 2015 floods.
Jayaram pointed out that in some cases, like the stretch in MGR Nagar in the locality, the road height had increased by one feet. “This was before the order was passed and as a result, the storm water drain had gone below by five feet. In fact, a person lost his life after falling into it, during the floods.”
He added that after the recent order, several violations of the road height had taken place. “Earlier it was anywhere till 6 inches, but after the order, it is around
four inches, which again is a violation.”
The High Court order had instructed the executive officer of the Chitlapakkam Town Panchayat to ensure the order was adhered to, through constant supervision of the procedures employed to relay roads. When contacted, S Palanisamy, Director, Town Panchayat, said they had received complaints from the area. “We have sent our executive engineer to inspect and find out if there have been violations,” he said.
“They usually relay the roads here once in five years. But the relaying of Raghavendra Street seems to have exceeded the usual time. After they relayed the stretch three days ago, I went about measuring the level of the road against the compound wall of every fourth house on the stretch. It has considerably risen,” said RK Sreenivasan, a resident of Chitlapakkam for the last 10 years.