According to the residents, there seems to be no ‘practical difference’ between areas under the Chennai Corporation and those in the suburbs with respect to the infrastructure available in these regions that is now witnessing a surge in population.
P Viswanathan, Coordinator, Chitlapakkam Residents Association Coordination Committee, said they had already sent a petition to Chief Minister’s Special Cell in connection with the issue. “We have mentioned in the petition that municipalities and town panchayats like Tambaram, Pallavaram, Chitlapakkam, Sembakkam, Peerkakaranai, Perungalathur, Medavakkam and other village panchayats coming under St. Thomas mount Panchayat Union can be integrated and made into a new Municipal Corporation,” he said.
He added that such areas boasted of infrastructure similar to that of metropolitan areas and that to meet its growing requirements, an upgraded local body was a must. Many of these local bodies do not have underground sewage systems due to which sewage water is let into storm water drains, that in turn merge with lakes. This is a major cause for the pollution of ground water.
“Unlike regions that come under the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), we face drinking water scarcity, as Chennai metro water is being supplied only to some parts here. Further, there isn’t adequate water in the Palar river and water is being supplied only once a week,” said K Ravishankar, a resident of Perungalathur. These suburbs need of integrated underground sewerage schemes and integrated drinking water supply schemes, he explained. Scientific garbage disposal is another vital issue in these areas.
“At present, Tambaram and Pallavaram are the municipalities, which are permitted to make use of the Venkatamangalam disposal yard. Still worse, garbage from Chitlapakkam area is being dumped on the Chitlapakkam lake bund,” said P Kasalingam, convener, Chennai Lakes Improvement Committee. There was no action even after flurry of complaints with concerned municipalities, he mentioned. When contacted, Kannan, Assistant Director (Town Panchayat) said, “As far as creating a new Corporation is concerned, it is purely the government’s policy decision. However, the areas in question would be provided with all the necessary facilities soon,” he added.