Otteri Nullah drains floodwaters from the central elements of the town into the Buckingham Canal close to Basin Bridge. The canal passes by north Chennai zones akin to Ambattur, Anna Nagar and Thiru.Vi. Ka. Nagar. Residents along this key waterway have reported a slew of persistent civic points. Even because the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Water Resources Department (WRD) have began cleansing the waterway forward of the northeast monsoon, residents have demanded higher coordination amongst businesses to resolve the civic points, together with air pollution attributable to industrial effluents, dumping of rubbish, flooding of residential areas and public health points. Many residents say the air pollution ends in corrosion of metals at residence and harm to digital devices.

‘It was clear as soon as’

A 33-year-old resident of Agasthiyar Nagar at Villivakkam, who survived a health scare after a surgical procedure final December, says many residents along Otteri Nullah have reported comparable health points. “My home is situated proper on the banks of Otteri Nullah, which flows one ft away from my compound wall. I used to wash within the clear Otteri Nullah after I was 10 years previous in 2000. Industries within the metropolis have began letting effluents into the canal. I’ve seen chemical substances and coolants utilized by a few of the main industrial models flowing within the canal. As I’ve labored as an engineer, I’ve been in a position to determine the chemical substances that pollute Otteri Nullah. My health deteriorated after publicity to gases emanating from the canal. The health of a number of residents along the canal has deteriorated due to the air pollution,” the resident mentioned.

Following complaints from residents of areas like Medavakkam Tank Road close to Kellys, the civic physique has tried to ease water stream within the clogged stretch of the canal close to the bridge. Residents complained that the part of Otteri Nullah was polluted close to industrial areas like Purasawalkam. The color of the canal water used to alter from black to pink to yellow at common intervals. Now, the water is black, says a resident. “A brand new silver jewel bought within the morning will flip darkish by the night due to the air pollution from the effluents in Otteri Nullah,” says one other.

No complaints, says TNPCB

R. Kannan, Member-Secretary, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), factors out that two to 3 years in the past, there was the problem of drainage and sewage from Korattur and Ambattur flowing into Otteri Nullah. “We aren’t certain what the scenario is, however no complaints have been made to the TNPCB,” he says.

Residents of Purasawalkam, Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Ayanavaram and ICF are all affected by the air pollution from industrial effluents and sewage. Mosquito breeding can also be excessive in some areas due to rubbish accumulation. As Otteri Nullah is a serious rainwater provider for a lot of zones within the central elements of the town, the Corporation has deliberate to clear rubbish along its course forward of the monsoon. But the train has been held up by concrete slabs positioned within the canal in some areas.

S. Sheik Abdul Rahaman, Regional Deputy Commissioner (Central), Chennai Corporation, says the civic physique has requested WRD officers to clear the canal forward of the monsoon. An official provides that the WRD has to this point accomplished practically 30% of the work to make sure that the waterways carry floodwaters with out problem through the rains.

Challenges from slim stretches

According to WRD officers, the division has deliberate to finish the work by mid-September. The 10.8-km Otteri Nullah poses a problem to the division with its slim stretches. The waterway programs by residential localities developed by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board in areas akin to Anna Nagar earlier than it drains into the Buckingham Canal. Most of the residents who’re affected by the civic points are those that bought small plots (measuring 900 sq. ft), meant for the weaker sections, from the TNHB a number of a long time in the past. The highway width is simply 30 ft on many permitted layouts developed by the TNHB, residents say. In the absence of correct entry, desilting the waterway is an arduous activity. On a few of the stretches, cranes are getting used to take away floating waste and vegetation to make sure higher water stream through the rains.

The WRD challenge has been cut up into seven elements for simultaneous execution forward of the monsoon. Various bridges throughout Otteri Nullah, akin to O Block bridge, and Aspiran Garden bridge, and the purpose of confluence with the Buckingham Canal at Basin Bridge are coated within the ₹1.85-crore challenge to desilt the waterway. The silt eliminated can be both conveyed to the Kodungaiyur dump or deposited on the banks of the Buckingham Canal, officers say.

Sludge from infrastructure initiatives such Metro Rail had clogged the waterway close to Padi a number of months in the past. The WRD additionally plans to take away sludge from some stretches this 12 months as residents along the waterway bear the brunt when the canal carries the utmost quantum of water. This would additional enhance the canal’s flood-carrying capability, officers say.

Metrowater cleans sewer community

Following complaints from residents about sewage discharge into Otteri Nullah at frequent intervals, Metrowater is desilting its sewer community and upkeep holes and enhancing the operation of sewage pumping stations within the core areas. To hold tempo with the rising demand, Metrowater has employed a advisor to review the decades-old sewerage within the metropolis and advocate enhancements. The train is predicted to be accomplished by November. The core areas face the recurring problems with choked sewer strains, water contamination and sewage overflows. These issues flip grave through the northeast monsoon. The water company has employed a advisor to evaluate the situation of its sewerage infrastructure. The advisor should determine the chronically affected areas and advocate enhancements, an official says.

Often uncared for

Anna Nagar Ward 104 councillor T.V. Shemmozhi has written to the Commissioner, highlighting the intense points along Otteri Nullah. “Factory sewage and untreated effluents from areas akin to Patravakkam are inflicting civic points in areas like Anna Nagar. Otteri Nullah, which is meant to hold rainwater, is flooded with sewage and clogged with rubbish. The canal passes by varied wards and the chemical substances within the effluents are inflicting harm to digital devices. The problems with health and silver tarnishing have been mentioned with officers of varied departments. These points are sometimes uncared for and officers are saying it’s a matter for the PWD to deal with. But Metrowater additionally has to take duty,” he says.

J. Balasundaram, normal secretary, Mullai Nagar Cultural and Religious Association, says the residents along Otteri Nullah have requested the federal government to shut the canal with concrete slabs and construct a wall along the stretch to forestall industrial effluents from affecting their health.

M. Sivaguru Prabakaran, Regional Deputy Commissioner (North), Chennai Corporation, says Otteri Nullah performs a key function in mitigating floods in elements of north Chennai additionally. “The Corporation has began development of a sump close to Stephenson Road Bridge throughout Otteri Nullah to pump floodwaters from the north Chennai areas. Shutters will stop the water from flowing again if the extent will increase in Otteri Nullah. The work shall be accomplished shortly,” he provides.

(With inputs from Geetha Srimathi)

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