Their appeal to the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) resulted in the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) undertaking the task of completing the work before the next monsoon. The tussle, according to M N Mahendar, secretary, East Kamaraj Nagar (North) Residents Welfare Association, has been going on for the last five years.
“During the 2015 floods, water mixed with sewage inundated our homes up to four feet. We wanted the storm water drain network in our locality connected to Buckingham Canal via the LB Road. We filed a petition with the NGT last year. The tribunal had asked the civic body to construct the drains. When the Corporation constructed the drains, we found that it was 3 feet higher than the others in our street. The faulty construction means that the flooding still occurs,” said the electrical engineer.
Kaushik Sharma, counsel for the petitioners, said the matter was disposed in January 2016. But Corporation’s failure to act within the stipulated time, as directed by the court, resulted in another petition.
“The Corporation stopped the sewage water entry. But when the work started, there were three BSNL cables running inside the LB Road storm water drain. If these cables were left in the drains, it will cause the water to reverse. When approached, the network provider said it was an old cable. Then, a fresh petition was filed with the NGT.
Surprisingly, BSNL replied that the cables were running parallel and not perpendicular, which is not the case. The Corporation has also confirmed that the cables are lying in the storm water drains and that it had already asked BSNL to remove it,” said the counsel.
An official from the Corporation said that they will follow the tribunal’s order and do the needful. “The cable belongs to BSNL. If they require any help from the Corporation, we will support them,” said the official.