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- Noyyal sand carted away under cover of darkness TNN | Updated: Apr 16, 2018, 12:16 IST Representative Image
Every day around 2am after ensuring that the last man awake in Alandurai too goes to sleep, dozens of bullock carts and donkeys march towards the Noyyal river bed.
For the next two hours the river bed would buzz with action as dozens of men would start scooping sand and piling them up in sacks on donkeys. These sacks are later transferred to mini-trucks and trucks stationed outside the village and later transported to construction sites in and around Coimbatore district. Many of these trucks also travel to the neighboring districts.
When the village wakes up all that would be left for them to see is the bullock cart tyre marks and a deepened river bed.
As demand for sand in the state increases and after court ban on mining of sand from Cauvery, sand traders in the district have turned towards smaller rivers such as Noyyal. The public works department, mines department and the revenue department officials when contacted told TOI that they had not given any permission for sand mining in Noyyal. “What is happening is illegal,’’ said a revenue officer.
“This has been happening here for more than two decades now. Earlier, sand was smuggled even during the day,” said Radha, an elderly woman in Alandurai. She added that the entire 12km stretch from Alandurai to Semmedu has been a hotspot. There is a spurt in quantum of smuggling, say activists.
The donkeys and carts are owned by a few locals in the area who have formed a nexus with the sand truck owners. The locals are paid for smuggling the sand and the elderly turn informers to alert smugglers about movement of officials. State general secretary of farmers’ association P Kandasamy said the farmers in the area have raised this issue in several grievances meetings and had also given petitions to the district collector. “The collector only needs to take action,” he said.
A few months ago, a farmer even assaulted one of the sand smugglers who was a repeated offender that created a stir in the village.
Revenue inspector in Alandurai Rajendiran said, “We are aware of this and have taken various measures to curb it. We have dug trenches along river bank to stop bullock carts. We have also set up check posts and gates in three locations to stop the entry. But these gates were damaged and the locks were broken the very next day.” The officials also go on night patrolling on their two-wheelers.
When caught, the villagers would claim that the sand was not for sale but for their houses being built under government scheme. “But once we seize their bullock carts, local politicians and sand truck owners come to pay the penalty,” said an official. Another official from the area said that they were extremely short-staffed. “Most of these smugglers are drunk and they are nearly 20 of them on the river bed. We cannot go alone and stop this. We need a team including police inspectors and at least a four-wheeler.”
R Manikandan of Kovai Kulangal Paadhugaaapu Amaippu said that they have seen this happening near Kuniyamuthur also. “We are trying to create awareness among youngsters and create a team to stop this. Since locals are involved there is very little we can do,” he said.
District collector T N Hariharan could not be reached for a comment.
- Multi-level parking project hits roadblock TNN | Updated: Apr 17, 2018, 12:11 IST
COIMBATORE: Looks like the much-hyped, much-delayed multi-level car parking projecthas hit a road block. While the city corporation had called for tenders in September 2017 to implement the project at Town Hall, Gandhipuram and D B Road, not a single bidder has come forward to execute it.
The project was announced in 2011 and had been delayed due to lack of funds. After finding no takers, the civic body officials came up with a new revenue model, according to which, the contractor was asked to fund the entire project and maintain it for 30 years. The contractor could make money from the parking fee and also rent out shops set up under the facilities. But, since the corporation wanted a revenue sharing model, none of the contractors came forward.
“We have discussed the issue with senior officials. We will change the revenue model and call for tenders again. We will have to fund the project and use the state government money to set it up,” corporation commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan told TOI.
The multi-level car parking project was expected to de-congest the three main commercial roads in the city where parking on the road often caused congestion. As per the detailed project report, the parking lot was to be fully-automatic and accommodate two-wheelers and four-wheelers. As per the tentative design, it would have four levels — first two for two-wheelers and the top two floors for four-wheelers.
Officials said that commercial complexes were also planned to ensure the contractor got enough revenue from the rent and lease money to maintain and operate it. “But, contractors were skeptical as it will take several crores to set up. They were not sure if they could earn it back. A private-public-partnership in which there is investment by both the corporation and the contractor will be more suitable,” said a senior official, adding that they will work out the funding and call for fresh tenders again.
- Sand smuggling impacts environment TNN | Updated: Apr 16, 2018, 12:15 IST
Rampant sand smuggling in the Noyyal has impacted the environment of the villages around Alandurai immensely. The groundwater level has dipped and flooding happens every time it rains heavily. The farmers are the most affected and they have continuously petitioned the district collector regarding the issue.
Also, lack of stringent laws and inadequate manpower in government departments has dissuaded locals from filing cases. “The police can book these repeat offenders under Goondas Act which will deter the locals from indulging in the crime. But the police have also formed a nexus with them,” alleged K P Palanisamy, retired deputy director, agriculture department, and a farmer in Alandurai.
In Alandurai, eight bullock carts, six trucks, including four mini-trucks, and one earthmover have been seized in the past two years. But the extent of sand smuggling is much bigger. Every day, dozens of bullock carts, two wheelers, donkeys and even cars are deployed to transport the sand sacks to trucks. Every day, at least 100 tonnes of sand is smuggled.
Officials said this cannot be stopped without a dedicated team in place. “There is no doubt that local politicians, district administration officials and the police are aware of what is going on. Lack of intent and will to take action will lead to losing another river in the district. Kousika River has already vanished. The Noyyal is on the brink of its death and if we continue to allow this, there will not be any river in the future,” said a farmer in Alandurai. He also alleged that the local men often bribed the policemen to smuggle sand.
Whenever the bullock carts or trucks are seized, politicians and sand truck owners come forward to pay the penalty. “The locals only struggle for a month. Again, after a few weeks, they start the same routine. We need the police officials to take stringent action against the smugglers and the district administration should enforce stricter norms,” said a local.
Unless villagers are sensitized about the various disadvantages of sand smuggling, this cannot be stopped, said Mahesh, a shopkeeper in Alandurai. “If there is a flood, this village will be worst affected,” he said.
- Shops built on encroached temple land in Hosur, alleges activist tnn | Apr 21, 2018, 00:53 IST
Krishnagiri: A piece of land that belongs to the HR&CE-run Sri Sankara Narayana Swamy temple in Hosur, Krishnagiri district, has been encroached upon and two shops built there. The Hosur Thasildar has confirmed that the shops are built on temple land as per records.
Founder-president of the Tiruthoundargal Sabai A Radhakrishnan alleged that a man constructed the shops about 15 years ago. “Those shops have been let out, but this information is not mentioned in the temple records,” he said.
One K R Radhakrishnan of Hosur has been using the shops to stock rice bags for more than five years.
A Radhakrishnan said the encroachers had demolished a portion of the temple to construct the structure without getting consent from HR&CE officials.
However, the rice go-down owner K R Radhakrishnan said HR&CE officials very well knew about the shops. “I used to give the rent to a person who approached me. I don’t know who he is and where he is from,” he said.
Vignesh Sharma, son of the temple priest, said the shops were constructed after getting consent from HR&CE officials. Asked about the consent letter obtained from the department, he said he did not have it.
When contacted by TOI, executive officer of the temple P Rajarathinam said he did not know about the illegal construction. The HR&CE was receiving Rs 665 as rent from the shop owner. “My predecessors allowed the construction and I do not know whether it is illegal or not,” he said. He said he had sent a letter to the shop owner asking him to increase the rent at least to Rs.4,000.
Hosur thasildar V Bandarinathan confirmed that both shops were constructed on the temple land as per records. “I have sent a report to the Salem joint commissioner of HR&CE T Varadharajan to initiate departmental inquiry in this issue,” he said. He also directed the joint commissioner to send his report to the Krishnagiri district administration on or before April 28.
- Green activists seek protection from Noyyal sand smugglers TNN | Updated: Apr 22, 2018, 00:24 IST
Coimbatore: South taluk revenue officials seized a tipper truck carrying river sand parked on the Ukkadam Bypass Road on Friday night. The officials had reached the spot after receiving a tip-off about sand smuggling.
To the officials’ surprise, truck driver R Prabhu turned out to be a member of Noyyal Paadhugaapu Kuzhu, an NGO working to protect Noyyal river.
Prabhu told TOI that he had taken the sand from a government quarry at Manachanallur in Trichy. “After the truck broke down, I was late to reach Coimbatore and my permit got expired. So, I parked it at Ukkadam because I could not supply the consignment at midnight,” he said, alleging that those who informed the revenue officials were among the sand smugglers from Noyyal riverbed and they did so to take revenge against him.
“They are taking revenge as we had stopped many of their lorries. But, our fight to protect Noyyal riverbed will continue. We will continue to stop lorries carrying smuggled sand,” he said.
The tahsildhar told TOI that the seized truck was carrying river sand. “It is difficult for us to say if it is from Noyyal or Cauvery. But we will levy a fine. We have not booked a case and will provide a chance to submit the documents,” said a revenue official.
Meanwhile, officials at Alandurai, Mathuvarayapuram, Karunya and Narasipuram have formed teams to catch sand smugglers and trucks carrying river sand. “Sand smuggling at the riverbed has completely stopped in the last five days. We have formed committees along with the police department and volunteers in the area are keeping a close watch as well,” said a revenue official.
The volunteers fighting to save the riverbed from sand smugglers stated that they will petition the district collector seeking protection and security for them. “We are worried that the smugglers will go to any extent to hurt us,” said Ranganathan, a member of the Noyyal Paadhugaapu Kuzhu.
- High-rises in Coimbatore should have fire licence to avoid accidents: Fire department Several high-rises in various cities were recently in the news after fire engulfed them, claiming many lives, besides destroying propertiesTNN | May 05, 2018, 19:00 IST
COIMBATORE: Fire and rescue services department officials on Friday said the city should have a fire licence system in place like in Chennai, as there has been a steady increase in the number of high-rise residential buildings in the city.
“Several high-rise residential complexes and gated communities are coming up in the city. But none of these buildings have a fire licence as the guidelines do not stipulate the same,” said a fire officer.
Several high-rises in various cities were recently in the news after fire engulfed them, claiming many lives, besides destroying properties. “It is high time that the city also framed rules that make fire licence mandatory for high-rises. Chennai already has this in place,” said another official. According to the fire and rescue services department, the district had recorded 1,085 fire calls in 2016 out of which 5 were major fires and 23, medium fire incidents. Of the 737 fire calls in 2017, four were major fires and 13, medium fires. While 96 fire incidents were reported this January, such mishaps had gone up to 162 in February.
When it comes to a high-rise, factors such as road width near the building, floor space index, set back area (around the building to ensure there is fire separation between buildings), adequate number of exits, concrete steps, water facility, sprinklers and fire alarms need to be in place. “The basic criterion is that within two minutes all the occupants should be able to escape from the building in case of a fire. And the building should be built in such a way that it has four hours of fire resistance,” said a senior fire officer.
As per the rules, 55ft high building with a minimum of four floors is called multi-storeyed building.
Rajesh B Lund of Srivari Property Developers and former president of city chapter of Credai, the apex body of private real estate developers associations, said they have been following the rules laid down by both the state government and the local body. “We get a no objection certificate before the construction of the building and ensure all other clearances are received. But there is no policy of fire licence,” he said.
Other builders said this rule was in place in big cities. “There have been several fire incidents in high-rises in Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities. Since the city is seeing a mushrooming number of high-rises, such rules will be useful to avoid mishaps in future. But all builders ensure most of these rules are complied with,” said another city-based property developer.
- Coimbatore: HC stays collector's order to regularise open reserve site at Flushing Meadows Judges M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam said that the sewage treatment plant has been set up on plot no.4 of the park site and though many directions were issuedTNN | May 09, 2018, 14:00 IST
COIMBATORE: The division bench of the Madras high court has put a stay on the order of collector TN Hariharan that regularised a sewage treatment plant (STP) and an RO plant set up on an open reserved site in Flushing Meadows, a gated community constructed by Elysium Properties India Private Limited at Vellanapatti village here.
Judges M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam said that the sewage treatment plant has been set up on plot no.4 of the park site and though many directions were issued, it was not demolished and continues to function. “The plant is also not running scientifically and hygienically and it continues to emanate foul smell. Residents in the locality find it extremely difficult and suffer very much and the third respondent (district collector), totally ignoring the said communication by a cryptic order, has issued direction for regularization, based on which, the block development officer of the panchayat has also passed appropriate proceedings,” the bench observed.
The collector had passed an order in January, 2018 to regularise open space reservation land located at Vellanapatti. The order did not carry a date. “TN Hariharan had ordered the block development officer (BDO), who is the special officer of Vellanapatti panchayat, to allow an illegally constructed sewage treatment plant to function on the OSR site that was earmarked for a park by the directorate of town and country planning,” said CK Perumal, the petitioner.
When TOI contacted him about the irregularity, the collector had retracted the order and said that he would cancel it immediately.
On April 25, the court had passed a stay and asked all the respondents to appear on June 29. The judges stated in the order that, “Prima facie disclose that the sewage treatment plant has been put up by Elysium Properties India Private Limited on a park site and by taking into consideration the settled position of law, once the land is reserved for public purpose, it cannot be used for any other purpose. Hence, there shall be an order of ad-interim stay till May 29, 2018.”
Elysium Properties India Private Limited had constructed the plant. After the residents raised objection and appealed to the national green tribunal, the central pollution control board submitted a letter after inspecting it in March, 2017. In the report, the board stated that the plant was not functioning properly and has not been maintained as per norms. It also questioned the engineering aspects. Later, the panchayat ordered to seal the STP.
The property developers maintained that they had set up the STP for the benefit of the people and they had got a court order as well. But, the court had directed the local planning authority to take steps within a month in 2016. But, no action was taken.
Meanwhile, residents petitioned the district collector against the non-functioning STP. After various inspections and reports, the BDO had ordered the sealing of the plant in 2017. But in January, the district collector had ordered to BDO to regularise the site and allow the STP function there.
- City corporation gives ultimatum to sewage plant contractor TNN | Updated: May 10, 2018, 13:51 IST
COIMBATORE: Almost six months after a Supreme Court verdict came in favour of the city corporation to establish a sewage treatment plant (STP) in the Nanjundapuram region in the city, the civic body has sought final explanation from the contractor regarding the specific timeline to complete its construction.
“We have given two week time to the contractor to specify the timeline in which the project could be completed,” a corporation official said, adding that they have been issuing notices one after the other to the contractor, but have not received any proper response.
The civic body would carry forward the construction work with the same contractor only if the officials were convinced with the explanation, if not, a new tender would be floated, the official said.
The construction work had not started even after the verdict came in favour due to the internal issues with the contractor. Citing that, the official said that they had paid about Rs 18 crore and about 60% of work is being completed. They have also assigned a third party to certify the percentage of work that has been completed.
The company has taken up the contract to construct the sewage treatment plant that would treat 45 million litres sewage daily, during 2008 at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore. Following the protests from the residents of the region, the project was struck and a petition was filed at the court seeking a stay. The civic body filed an appeal and received the verdict in its favour.
This is one of the important projects for the civic body as it would help the residents of over 20 wards to connect their sewage outlets with the underground drainage.
- Enough water in dams to help city tide over summer Nivedha Selvam| TNN | May 11, 2018, 00:43 IST
Coimbatore: City’s water managers can relax as water level in the local reservoirs are comfortable enough to tide over the summer, thanks to the copious rain over the last few days.
Not many would have forgotten the protests demanding drinking water during the last few summer seasons. This year though, civic body authorities say they could ensure uninterrupted water supply till the southwest monsoon sets in.
“Based on the existing water level at dams and current water requirements in the city, we could meet water supply demands till July 15,” said a senior official of the city corporation, adding that the storage level at dams was much higher compared to the previous years.
While 31 wards get 68 million litres per day (MLD) from Siruvani dam, 33 wards are supplied 125 MLD from Pillur dam. At present, with water level up to 20 feet, Siruvani dam has about 49,000 MLD storage. The total depth of the dam is 50 feet.
Recalling that the civic body has been pumping water from the dam round-the-clock using six motors and seven gen-sets as the water level had gone below the average storage level, an official, who is in-charge of water supply, said that the region has witnessed decent rainfall in the previous year, thus increasing the water level. This summer, the region around the dam received only 25mm rainfall.
In 2016, water supply was stopped for a few days due to lack of water, the official said. “We are at a much safer position when compared to the previous years. Also, the southwest monsoon is expected to start from June, which is almost a month ahead of the expiry date,” he said.
“We never had water shortage at the Pillur dam and instead it’s always the surplus water that we are dealing with,” said an official in-charge of water supply at Pillur dam, adding that of the total depth of 100 feet, the water level at the dam is over 83 feet.
The city also receives water from Aliyar dam and under Bhavani scheme. While about eight MLD water is being supplied to places including Kurichi and Kuniyamuthur from Aliyar dam, over 11 MLD is being supplied to Vadavalli and Koundampalayam areas.
“We have also been supplying water from Siruvani dam to these region as well,” the official added.
- DVAC begins probe into drinking water connection scam tnn | Updated: May 12, 2018, 01:14 IST
Coimbatore: It seems noose around former president of Kannamapalayam town panchayat Thalapathy Murugesan is tightening. A day after Murugesan was arrested in connection with the illegal gutkha unit in the city, sleuths of DVAC have begun inquiry into the drinking water connection scam in his panchayat on Friday.
Murugesan and executive officials (EOs) of the town panchayat have allegedly swindled money between 2011 and 2016 in the guise of providing drinking water connections.
DVAC officials deputed labourers to check the drinking water pipelines at Kannampalayam as part of the investigation.
The DVAC started its investigation based on a complaint from residents of Kannampalayam. Inspector of police, DVAC, Coimbatore, G Arumugam and his team visited Kannampalayam near Sulur. Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage (TWAD) officials and former executive officers (EOs) of Kannampalayam town panchayat who were working between 2015 and 2016 accompanied the DVAC sleuths.
According to sources, the DVAC officials were directed to check the drinking water connections at Kannampalayam by their superiors from Chennai. There was an allegation that the panchayat did not provide water connections to many areas. But the record shows that they had taken lakhs of rupees for the same.
Labourers dug at Marutham Nagar, Ranganathapuram and few more areas to check the drinking water pipelines. The DVAC also collected the sample pipes to check the quality and find out the irregularities. The investigation will continue for few more days in the area.
When contacted, assistant director of town panchayat Ganeshram told TOI that DVAC approached him to send former executive officers of Kannampalayam town panchayat. “I ordered the EOs to visit the panchayat and co-operate with the DVAC. But we did not initiate any departmental probe in connection with the irregularities at Kannampalayam,” said Ganeshram.
DVAC sleuths refused to comment but asked the writer advised to contact their superiors in Chennai for further information.
Meanwhile, people from Kannampalayam had sent a letter to the police giving information about Murugesan and his illegal activities and property he owns.
- ‘Replace humans with robots for scavenging works’ TNN | Updated: May 12, 2018, 11:02 IST
COIMBATORE: The National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) on Friday urged the city corporation to take necessary steps to replace humans with robots for scavenging works.
Speaking to reporters here, L Murugan, vice-president, NCSC, said the civic body could follow suit the examples set by Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad, which have introduced robots for scavenging works. He was in the city to head the review meeting with the city corporation.
NCSC has been conducting review meeting across the state to ensure the welfare of the SC community people, who form a majority of the corporation sanitary workers. Robots would end the menace of manual scavenging, the commission felt.
Acknowledging that most sanitary workers were not in the habit of using safety gears, including shoes and gloves all the times, Murugan said he would recommend the civic body to create awareness among them to use the same whenever they are at work.
“We have also recommended periodical medical tests for the sanitary workers as they often work sans the safety gears,” he added.
Citing that the civic body has issued orders to fix the minimum wage as Rs 350 for the sanitary workers, Murugan said the commission had recommended the same and it has been implemented.
“The civic body has been asked to take legal action against the contractor, who violates the minimum wage act,” he said and added that the commission had been receiving complaints of contractors taking away the ATM cards of the workers a day or two before the salary date.
The wages should be transferred to the workers’ bank account and should not be given in hand, he added.
- Around 150 trees get uprooted in May TNN | Updated: May 13, 2018, 00:36 IST
Coimbatore: Uprooting of trees continues unabated during every day of rain. On Saturday, several trees were uprooted including one on Madhukkarai taluk office premises and two near Krishna Colony in Singanallur area. Around 150 trees have been uprooted in May alone, said environmentalists and revenue officials.
In Madhukkarai area alone, 30 trees were uprooted, said a revenue official. “But nobody was hurt and there has been no damage to any property. We are also trying to transplant a few trees to help them grow again,” said an official. The Madhukkarai tahsildar too decided to transplant the 22-year-old Indian cork tree (Maramalli tree) that fell on Saturday to another location.
“High wind velocity accompanied by heavy rains causes trees to uproot across the district. We need to carry out a study by recording all the species of the trees that were uprooted to find out the actual reason,” said a research scholar.
According to Syed of Osai, an environmental NGO, the main reason for many cases of tree uprooting is planting of exotic and invasive species instead of native species. “A minimum of five feet should be dug up before planting any tree to make it penetrate easily. The soil will become lose as we dig deeper and help the tree to stabilize,” he said.
Major locations where trees were uprooted are: Trichy Road, Mettupalayam Road, Kuniyamuthur, Siruvani Road, Perur taluk office, Madhukkarai Taluk Office, Race Course - Red Fields, R S Puram on T V Samy Road and Saibaba Colony.
- ‘Harvest, store, supply rainwater to civic body to beat water woes’ TNN | Updated: May 12, 2018, 10:24 IST
COIMBATORE: Has the idea of harvesting rainwater, storing it and supplying the excess water to the city corporation ever struck you? That’s what the principal scientific officer with the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, A R Shivakumar, motivated the members of Kongu Global Forum to do here on Friday.
“There is no water shortage. In fact, just like any renewable energy, people can harvest water, store it and supply excess water to the corporation,” he said.
Having created a similar successful model in Bengaluru, where Bosche uses only stored rainwater and even supply it to the local body, Shivakumar said any city can replicate it.
Members of the Kongu Global Forum have pledged to set up 10 million such structures in seven districts of Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Pollachi, Tirupur and Karur.
“Rooftop rainwater harvesting and storing structures are the need of the hour. In Coimbatore and other parts of the state only underground harvesting structures are set up. There is a need for a lot of awareness as we are losing all the rainwater. Every house needs to set up a rooftop rainwater harvesting structure and implement certain engineering techniques to store the same. That is why we brought Shivakumar, who has done exceptional work in Karnataka,” said Vanitha Mohan, managing trustee of Siruthuli.
She said Siruthuli would spearhead the project in the district. “We will create a park and showcase the technology, which is very simple. We will also take it up with the civic body to implement it in a large-scale in schools, hospitals and corporates,” Vanitha Mohan added.
Shivakumar, who lives in Bengaluru, does not get any water from the corporation and uses only the stored rainwater. “We ensure that we do not waste water. This is very simple and if done on a large-scale, we can save a lot of our resources,” he said and added that each house could easily store 2 lakh litre water in every rain. “Small engineering changes such as using porous pavement blocks, setting up drainage holes near houses to ensure that excess water enters the drains and not the roads, setting up rainwater harvesting and storing structures in public locations such as parks and swimming pools. This is not only cost-effective, but also reform various rural areas where water shortage is a major issue,” Shivakumar said.
Shivakumar is expected to share the technology with the NGOs and help them set up these structures in some locations.
- Rain exposes city’s engineering flaws tnn | May 13, 2018, 00:33 IST
Coimbatore: The recent downpour has exposed the city’s engineering flaws with many areas turning into water pools because of clogged drains and storm water drains with wrong gradient.
And it threw the normal life out of gear. For instance, 30-year-old R Saradha was stuck in nearly 3ft water on Kamarajar Road at Red Fields near Sungam Junction. Elderly couple Rajathi, 58, and Ramesh, 60, had to literally drag their vehicle through the water all the way to Sungam Junction.
Civic activists said the civic body engineers only focus on low lying areas in the city such as Lanka Corner Junction, Avinashi road flyover under-bridge and Kikani under-bridge whenever it rains. “But locations such as Thadagam Road, Trichy Road, Red Fields, Puliyakulam and railway station area become non-motorable every time it rains,” an activist said.
According to Ramesh, Sungam Junction always sees waterlogging, no matter if the rain last for long or not. “There is waterlogging even when it rains for just 10 minutes. If it’s a heavy rain, vehicles cannot even pass through,” he said.
According to Ramesh, water from Avinashi Road, defence establishments and Trichy Road flows into Sungam Junction, turning it into a pool.
A similar scene was witnessed at Thadagam Road near Pal Company Junction. Anitha, a local resident, said it’s a nightmare whenever it rains. “The entire drainage overflows and there is a huge water fountain. Once, the drainage lid came out because of the water force and the sewage water flowed on the road like a river,” she said.
Senthil Kumar, assistant commissioner of central zone, said city corporation commissioner Vijayakarthikeyan had held a review meeting last week and sought a report on the drains that requires desilting in each zone. “We are identifying the locations and will submit a report. We will check these areas and ensure steps are taken to avoid waterlogging,” he said.
The assistant commissioner of west zone, S V Kumar, said they had met highways department officials several times seeking a solution to waterlogging. “We have been working for the past two months. The highways need to relay the road as it tapers towards one end. The entire water from buildings from as far as Vadavalli area come and drain there, turning the area into a pool,” he said.
The highways department officials, however, blamed the underground drainage and storm water drainage for waterlogging. “The drains need to be widened and desilted,” an engineer said.
Corporation engineer said sullage trucks, tree cutters and workers have been kept ready at each zonal office to handle emergency situations arising out of heavy rainfall.
- Leaking pipelines disrupt water supply TNN | Updated: May 14, 2018, 00:48 IST
Coimbatore: Believe it or not, some localities and households are still reeling under water crisis despite it is raining cats and dogs every day in the city. Moreover, lakes and dams are on the verge of reaching full capacity with intermittent rainfall since the beginning of this month and continuous downpour in the last one week.
Although there is enough water with the Coimbatore Corporation, leaking pipelines and faulty distribution system have rendered these localities starving for water.
For instance, residents in Shanmuga Nagar near Sungam Junction have not received water supply for the past 12 days. Whenever they spoke to officials, they were told that there was a pipeline leakage. Gowri R, a resident of the area, said she collected and stored rainwater two days ago as the corporation failed to supply water. “We usually get water once every three days. And during summer, we get it once a week. So, we plan only based on that. This time, two weeks have passed, and we are yet to get water supply,” she said.
A Jeevarathinam, another resident of the area, said some households with bore wells were managing. “But others had to purchase water even for drinking purposes,” she said. She added that even in November last year, they faced a similar situation. “Pipeline leakages are becoming a huge problem,” she said.
Gowri added that sometimes even corruption drive linemen and watermen, who manage the supply in localities, to stop water supply. “Only if we pay them an amount, they provide water supply. Recently, after we complained, the lineman was transferred but this is the case in every area,” she said.
It is not just Shanmuga Nagar, said civic activists. Leaking pipelines have been a cause of trouble for several years now. “From the time they started digging up the roads for underground drainage pipeline and other projects, every day some area suffers water supply issue. In some locations such as Kamarajar Road, Selvapuram, Puliyakulam and Gandhi Park, there is a water pipeline leakage or drainage seepage almost every month,” said Radhika, a resident of Gandhi Park.
A corporation official said once the 24x7 water supply project is implemented all the old pipelines that were laid in the British-era will be replaced.
“The company, Suez Water, is conducting a study for a year after which they will relay the pipelines,” said an engineer. Smart water meters will also be set up to ensure water theft and other usage issues are rectified.