The Quint Impact: Corporation Cleans Sewage, Water From Chennai Slum
After The Quint published an article on a slum locality in Chennai, the Corporation cleared the stagnated water.
Even after the rains had stopped in Chennai, the slum locality in SM Nagar in Teynampet remained waterlogged on Friday, 12 November. The Quint published a story on Saturday, 'Chennai Deluge 2021: Sewage Stagnates in Slum Even After Rains Stop', highlighting the pitiable condition of the locality as they didn't receive any help from the Chennai Corporation.
The residents had to clear the sewage from their homes and even then their streets were filled with debris.
Within minutes of the story getting published, The Quint received a response from Dr Gagandeep Singh Bedi, the Commissioner of Chennai Corporation, assuring immediate assistance. On Sunday, 14 November morning, two teams from the Chennai Corporation visited the locality and drained the stagnated water. The debris deposited on the roads too were removed by workers from the slum board.
The Before and After of Chennai Corp Intervention
The slum is located just behind the Raintree hotel, a posh neighbourhood. The water levels in the locality had risen to waist level and there was no power supply for three days during the torrential rains.
The residents had alleged that one of the key reasons for the stagnation was that the storm water drains were completely clogged with sewage that prevented the flow of rainwater. The officials thoroughly checked the main sewage line and ensured that there was no overflow or clogging.
Until Friday, the water supplied in the common taps was found to be brown in colour.
“We live in the main city and it is important that our drains and area are kept clean because the sewage could get mixed up with our drinking water. Usually, water is quite clear but since the time of the heavy rains, the water quality has been poor,” a resident had told The Quint. The Metro Water Department officials checked the water quality too and found it to be “satisfactory". The residents corroborated the same.
“We are very happy with this response. We were all sore cleaning our homes for the past three days. We had asked many workers but everyone refused to help. The elderly people and even kids were sweeping out the dirt. Now, the Corporation has cleaned up all the sewage and water and the streets are quite dry. They made sure to clear all the garbage too,” said Nalini, a resident of the locality.Ch
'More Work to be Done'
However, this is only temporary relief. The residents here alleged that while the rains were suddenthe , it is mismanagement of the storm water drains and failure to renovate the age-old slum housing board that has resulted in all the homes getting flooded.
The Quint visited the houses in the locality and noticed that there were visible cracks on them. Some even had roots sprouting through the walls and ceiling.
“We live on the fourth floor and water leaks from our terrace and walls. Every time, there are heavy rains this happens and all our belongings get damaged. We need the slum clearance board to intervene and strengthen the building,” said 85-year-old Illamai. Many residents alleged water bubbled from the floor and the ceiling and entered their homes.
"The water will stop leaking through the roof only if the rain completely stops. How much water can we clear with buckets? We all have fever and our legs are sore and have boils because of the stagnant water," said Radha.
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