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Monday, Nov 21, 2005
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`Poor cousin' cries
If you compare the Government's treatment of south Chennai with that of north Chennai, it is very clear that the latter is considered a `poor cousin'. No attention is paid to providing civic amenities, whether laying roads or lighting, especially after Tondiarpet. One can see it while driving beyond the tollgate towards Minjur.
There are no streetlights after Ernavoor bridge towards the MFL Junction. Many factories are located on this stretch that pay lakhs of rupees as tax. Even before the monsoon set in, the roads were in a bad state. The rain has made them worse.
With hundreds of trucks plying, especially after the opening of the Ennore Port gate near Athipattu (between Manali New Town and Minjur), traffic snarls have become common. Those manning the checkpost at the MFL junction take their own sweet time in clearing the trucks, which are parked in a haphazard manner on both sides of the road right up to Andarkuppam. Bad lighting aggravates the situation. The road is a nightmare for two-wheeler riders. But, in the absence of proper bus service, they have no other way to reach the residential colony in Manali New Town (developed by MMDA but uncared for afterwards).
I request the authorities concerned to provide streetlights after on Ennore Expressway towards Minjur besides widening the road going from MFL to Minjur. This will prevent accidents, smoothen the flow of traffic and help develop the area. The Ennore port authorities must give the Government that much needed support.
The bimonthly electricity meter reading on Arimuthu Achari Street, Triplicane was last done in April. It was skipped in June. When contacted, EB officials informed us that the person who takes the reading was unwell and asked us to pay the same amount in the last bill to avoid disconnection. They assured us that the reading would be done in August.
On August 31, they deputed a person to obtain the reading. He did not enter the units consumed and the bill amount in the consumer card. We were told to get these from the bill collection centre.
The reading was not done in October. Now we have to pay the previous bill amount (four months' consumption). Will the authorities arrange for regular meter reading?
Law unto themselves
Private companies supplying liquefied petroleum gas have been steadily increasing their rates. The Government does not seem to have any control over them.
The price of a 12-kg LPG cylinder of a particular company was Rs.409 in August. It was increased thrice between August and November. The price on November 9 was Rs.510 (25% increase in 3 months). Will the Government exercise some control over these companies?
M. C. Vijai Shankar,
Tap these lakes
Whenever the monsoon brings bountiful rain to the city, `Retteri' (twin lakes) in Kolathur, overflow, inundating the adjacent areas such as Kolathur and Thanikachalam Nagar, which are spread over 100 acres. The normal life of the residents is disrupted for weeks together and a lot of water goes into the sea.
To avoid these problems and mitigate the sufferings of the people, it is suggested that the lakes be identified as a source to supplement the city's drinking water supply. They should be deepened and the walls around raised. This will also help maintain the groundwater level in the area at a comfortable level.
S. K. Santhana Boopathy,
End this discrimination
Venkatesa Bathan Street opposite the Vasanthi cinema on Perambur Barracks Road has not been asphalted for the past two years. When it rains the street becomes slushy. It is a struggle for the residents to even venture out. The neighbouring streets have been asphalted. Why is this street being neglected?
I thank the The Hindu for having vividly brought out the misery suffered by the residents of Balambal Nagar in Virugambakkam, for more than a week after the second spell of rain in `Down Town' (T.Nagar edition dated November 13, 2005). It had an immediate effect with CMWSSB officials and employees not only baling out the water but also sweeping the streets clean and spraying these with disinfectant.
Rainwater yet to recede
Residents of MGR Nagar in Velachery west are awaiting the Corporation's intervention for a solution to the flooding on 1st Street in the locality. The street lies under knee-deep water 10 days after the rain. Though most of the streets were affected, the 1st Street was worst hit with no sign of the water receding.
The western end of the street is a low-lying area and tail-end of the drainage line. The pipeline overflows very often from three manholes. This has been the case for the past three years. Now the overflowing drainage water and the stagnating rainwater have, together, formed a cesspool.
We have already complained to the authorities concerned and our councillor, but no action has been taken. We request the Chief Minister to give directions to end our misery.
Appeal to Alandur
During the recent rain, water entered the houses in many low-lying areas of Adambakkam, making life miserable. Choked culverts in some streets in New Colony, including the 8th Street, prevented the water from draining. The water stagnated for days together. Insects, worms and snakes terrified the residents. Now that the rain has stopped, will the Alandur Municipality take expeditious steps to desilt the culverts so as to spare citizens of similar nightmares?
J. Manohar Singh,
Inadequate bus services
From Chennai Central 10 trains depart between 5-30 a.m. and 7 a.m. and 13 trains from 8 p.m. to 11-30 p.m. But direct bus services from the Adyar depot to Central to take these trains are inadequate. A few cut services on Route no. 1 and regular buses on Routes 4 and 6A are available, but the frequency does not meet the demand.
The MTC should operate more buses, say every 10 minutes, to Chennai Central. The 18S service also should be revived with 15 minutes frequency.
Install RWH system
on main roads
Rainwater harvesting devices were installed in houses and other buildings as instructed by the Government. They seem to have helped in raising the groundwater level.
But our roads are waterlogged even after a short spell of rain. Even arterial roads like Annasalai and Poonamallee High Road were flooded in the recent rain. RWH structures must be installed at various points on all roads to preserve the rainwater and reduce waterlogging.
Desilting the stormwater drains in the city and suburbs will help in reducing inundation of the streets and roads.
Bus stop a must
at Anna memorial
A large number of visitors to the Marina Beach, particularly Anna and MGR memorials, alight from buses going to the south when these halt at the signal opposite Ezhilagam, risking their lives. The scheduled stop is far away, opposite the Board of Revenue offices.
The MTC authorities should provide a stop ahead of these memorials.
Of late bus services on route No. 7B are erratic, especially around the time when educational institutions end their day's work. Students are forced to wait for an hour to one and a half hours.
The buses do not maintain the timings. Sometimes, within half an hour, three or four buses come one after the other (some of them half empty). At times, there will be no service for one and a half hours.
On November 10, I waited, with many others, mostly students of nearby colleges and schools, to go beyond Villivakkam at the bus stop near Bhakthavatsalam College School from 3-45 p.m. to 5-20 p.m. There was no sign of 7B! No other service connects Villivakkam beyond the Nathamuni stop. The absence of a coordinator in the Korattur bus terminus is making things worse.
A. Seshagiri Rao,
No concern for
The Alandur Municipality has fixed monthly charges for underground drainage connections nearly two years after it provided the facility. The Valasarawakkam Municipality is still to announce the charges. The inordinate delay in fixing the charge raises the burden of users.
The rate fixed by the Alandur Municipality is high. The charges in Chennai Corporation are much less when compared with that of Alandur. It is fixed in proportion to the annual rental fixed by the property-tax assessor.
The deposit amount for drainage connection at Valasarawakkam is Rs. 12,000 whereas it is Rs. 6,000 at Alandur. The connection charges are also hefty. The monthly charges have to be fixed at the earliest. Otherwise consumers will find it tough to pay the accumulated charges.
Kerala shows the way
Tamil Nadu can follow the example set by Kerala in getting speed governors installed in heavy vehicles. These help reduce fatal road accidents caused by overspeeding.
Plastic and polythene carry-bags, waterbottles etc., which had choked the stormwater drains, and the slush in Otteri nullah were only one of the causes for the recent floods.
The negligence and arrogance of power of the Corporation authorities and their failure to take preventive measures, despite the regular warnings issued by the Meteorological department and the city's past experience during monsoon were the main reasons.
Corporation officials from the Commissioner down to the ground-level staff and the elected Councillors were supposed to gird up their loins and ensure that the stormwater drains, nullahs and water-trenches were flushed clean and cleared of slush.
Of course, it was amusing to read `Thanks-giving of a different kind at Rippon Buildings' (The Hindu, 04 November).
S.W. Surendra Dhas,
Stray dogs in Mogappair are a big nuisance. With the roads poorly-lit and in bad shape, it is very difficult to drive or walk amidst stray dogs in the night. The dogs have to be shifted to far away suburbs like Thirumullaivoyal, Pattrawalkkam, etc., where there is enough space for them to roam about.
Restore bus stop
A number of representations have been made to MTC authorities and a letter has appeared in The Hindu, requesting the restoration of a bus stop near the water tank in MMDA colony. The stop was suddenly shifted a few months ago to Razack Garden Road, near the petrol pump and opposite Subham marriage hall.
Since then, people residing in A,B,C,Q and R blocks are experiencing innumerable difficulties.
These include traffic jams resulting out of haphazard parking of vehicles by those who come to attend marriages in the three halls in close proximity and the absence of bus shelters, posing problems for women and children waiting to board buses early in the morning or at night.
During recent rain, water remained at waist level for days together at the junction near Muralikrishna marriage hall.
We appeal to the authorities to restore the water tank stop.
Promise yet to be fulfilled
I would like to point out that an important road i.e. officers colony Third main road (opposite the NGO colony bus terminus) in Adambakkam has been damaged due to heavy traffic between Velachery and Guindy.
The road has been left untouched, despite repeated written representations made by residents of the colony. The local MLA and Minister for Rural Industries, B. Valarmathi, visited our area on June 28 and promised to do the needful. But no action has been taken even after four months. Promises alone will not satisfy taxpayers.
We hope that the authorities concerned would act swiftly and redress our long-felt grievances.
Bus services infrequent
The frequency and timing of MTC routes 5T, 11G, 11H, 12C, 12G, 49A, covering the stretch of West Mambalam area have been left to the convenience of the crew. The problems office-goers and school children face, especially during peak hours is unimaginable. These worsen when an `antique' vehicle comes to a grinding halt due to overcrowding or mechanical snag. This enables automen to fleece the passengers who cannot afford to wait for eternity. Ironically the ticket checkers do their job only during peak hours.
Will the MTC officials look into the helpless situation in this area?
better bus services
The number of M.T.C. bus services serving Ullagaram have been reduced by the withdrawal of B51, 51N, 51C. Due to this and the dual routes followed, petty traders, vegetable and flower vendors and others who depend on bus services are put to much hardship.
The services presently available are, 51M, 51S, 18D, M14 and C5 (circular). Among the above, three services go up to Saidapet or terminate before it. The M14 takes passengers only up to St. Thomas Mount. The R.S. buses take a circuitous route, due to some reason or the other. One has to board two buses to reach Broadway (as 18D, is not frequent and F51 is rare) and other places beyond Saidapet.
Road in poor state
Much has been said about the bad condition of Anna Main road, K.K. Nagar, stretching from Udayam theatre to the beginning of Nesapakkam.
After the recent rain, the road is just not motorable. There are a lot of huge potholes on the road. Only one portion of the road is being by vehicles as the other part is bad. Not a day passes without an accident on this stretch that has heavy traffic.
My suggestions to improve the situation include concretising the road from Udayam theatre to Nesapakkam entrance and widening it by removing the massive encroachments on both sides. A majority of the shops have extended their front elevation beyond permissible limit. The Corporation authorities may look into this and demolish the illegal extensions.
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