Friday, March 13, 2009

Cuddalore residents want drainage project speeded up

Cuddalore residents want drainage project speeded up - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

“Uncovered trenches have become accident spots”

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
SOLUTION NOT IN SIGHT: The underground drainage work in Cuddalore town is going on a slow pace.

CUDDALORE: The slow progress on the underground drainage work in Cuddalore town is causing great inconvenience to the residents.

The uncovered trenches dug for laying the pipelines have become veritable accident spots, according to M.Marudhavanan, general secretary of the Federation of All Residents Welfare Associations.

Voicing concern over the delay in its implementation, he said only 60 per cent of work on the proposed 162 km pipeline was completed so far. Started on January 1, 2007 the project should have been completed by December 31, 2008, but still there were yawning gaps in its execution, he said.

Mr. Marudhavanan further said that the move to acquire 47 acres of land at Thevanampattinam for the erection of the sewage treatment plant too encountered a problem.

Therefore there was an apprehension that the sullage might be discharged into the Gedilam. He said even before the trenches were properly and firmly filled up there should not be any move to relay the roads, as it would result in wasteful expenditure.

Construction of small pits in the households for linking the underground drainage system was fraught with problems as in the event of blockade it would result in unhygienic condition.

He noted that if the authorities were insisting upon completion of all the four phases before making the system operational the project would take another three years to fructify.

General secretary of the Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation M.Nizamuddin said lack of coordination among the departments was the primary reason for the delay and hoped the works would be expedited to alleviate the problems of the residents.
Resource crunch

Municipal Commissioner N.Ravichandran said owing to upgradation of sewage treatment technology the project cost would go up from Rs 40.40 crore to Rs 48 crore.

As per the original plan the cost would be shared by the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (Rs 10 crore), the Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Corporation (Rs 15.36 crore) and the local body as well as the residents (Rs 15.04 crore).

The civic body was yet to realise the tax arrears of Rs 18 crore and in such a piquant situation it would be a challenging task for it to mobilise necessary resources. Mr Ravichandran said he would soon meet Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi and seek financial assistance for the project.

Following a spate of representations District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has initiated measures for better coordination among the departments.

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