July 07, 2012

Are these drains?

If there is one scam that stares in my face today it is to do with what must be Chennai Corporation's grand project of providing us all with brand new SWDs, or simply put, Storm Water Drains.
It is a scam that is a big rip-off, a waste of our monies paid as tax of all kinds, a downright shoddy job and a joke on the people of this city.
Since early last year, I have been witness to this scam in many streets of Abhiramapuram, a neighbourhood close to the office of the Mylapore Times.
It is well over a year since the work on constructing drains was launched in this neighbourhood. And it remains unfinished in many streets and is in a shoddy state in many others.
We have received dozens of letters from the residents on this issue. Some wail, some crib and some sound helpless.
And despite the letters published, the complaints made online to the city's civic body and series of calls to elected councillors, there has been little progress.
Work on the drains started in my neighbourhood, in Sastri Nagar, Adyar in the latter part of 2011. And in a few days, it was evident to us that this was going to be a half-baked job.
The contractors' men started digging up the sides of the streets on the eve of the monsoon season. This was badly timed. The trenches received the floodwater and the choked streets were water-logged.
In time, the streets began to stink and people who walked down the streets at night faced the danger of slipping into these unmarked drains.
Only a death of a teen elsewhere in the city, a teen who had slipped into a open, half-done drain got the contractors to tie red tapes along the areas where work was on. That was a pretence indeed.
So what do we have today?
New, uneven drains alongside our streets with garbage, debris and waste packed inside them. Gaping holes in these drains at street corners. Rusty iron rods jutting out of the cement slabs. Uncleared mud now shoved atop the drains.
And the digging for new drains continues on many roads and streets.
The short spells of recent rains created a mess all over again and we dread the mess that awaits us at monsoon time later this year.
The SWD project, said to be funded hugely under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is one of the worst we have witnessed in this city.

1 comment:

N S Parameswaran said...

Mr Vincent I empathise, sympathise and agree with you 100%. This is happening not only in Abhiramapuram - it is all over Chennai and proceeding at slower than even snails pace.

Another Scam that has recently been started is the building of Blue Structures that you see all over Chennai. This is the latest bright idea from the jokers of Municipal Corporation. All the Garbage Bins which were kept earlier at street corners have now been removed and kept inside these structures. The result of this is that the old places where the bins were there are now having garbage dumped in the open. The Blue structures are an eye sore as now garbage from 5-10 Bins overflow inside and also outside.

The net result is that garbage is now lying in the open at all street corners and overflowing in these blue structures.

I really wonder what logic these civil servants have to dream up such unviable and crazy scchemes. Crores of rupees will be spent on constructing these structures which will slow die away and will become public urinals. Already this is has happened