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Slow pace of SWD work keeps Mylapore residents housebound
For the last four months, the occupants of houses and offices on PS Sivaswamy Salai in Mylapore have been on the edge, literally. The stormwater drain work here has broken a part of their homes and the long-drawn work has made normal life impossible for them. A few of them have just recovered from the sudden caving in of their homes when the work began unannounced a few months ago.
A few of the residents have reconstructed the pathway and entrances that had been damaged. Babyamma, a resident of the locality for several years now, has restricted her movement outside the house. “I can’t cross this ladder-like structure every time I need to step out of the house. I have to get the help of people each time I want to go out,” she said. A few doors away, N Rajasekar, a third generation entrepreneur whose office has been in the vicinity for several decades now pointed out, “They have been throwing the slush out of the drains each time and it is all in front of our homes. The mosquito menace is unbearable. We have just about managed to make our places accessible after the caving in a few months ago. But the prolonged work has impacted our lives very badly.”
He added that while they were told that the work would be completed by three months, there has been no end in sight. Residents added that the stormwater drain system was working perfectly fine and questioned the need for reconstructing it. “Ever since the work began, we had sewer lines mixing up with the SWD and now we fear the sewer line getting directly connected to the canal. Ideally, the sewer lines of every four houses should be linked to the manhole,” said Nagamma, a resident in the area for more than six decades.
Residents alleged that the workers avoid working in the area all through the day, even as they have complained about it to the concerned officials at the Corporation. Balaji, another resident whose house bore the maximum brunt of the road caving in, said that they have no idea about the contractor. “They are supposed to display details of the contractor at the work site. But we have no information so far. Any amount of talk with the workers has no effect,” he said.
A source from the Corporation said that the works will be completed by the end of this month. “We had to stall works due to rains, but we are looking at completing it by September end. Some of the houses didn’t have underground drains and their lines had to be linked. The disturbance to the houses on the stretch was inevitable as their homes were linked to drains,” the source said.