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the sources of irrigation are filled with filth

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Open canals and storm water drains have turned Ramalinga Nagar into a mosquito breeding ground much to the inconvenience of residents. Ramalinga Nagar lies near the Kathirikai Vaical, which was once an irrigation channel, but has now turned into a drainage.

The canal winds through the narrow lanes of the residential areas. However, as houses cropped up all along its course, sewage pipes have been let out into it, causing water stagnation and unhygienic living conditions. The drainage was desilted as part of the City corporation’s pre-monsoon drive but this has not helped much as sewage continues to flow into the canal making it a perfect site for mosquito breeding, rue residents. “Storm water drains in the streets are all connected to the drain. Years ago, freshwater used to flow through it and it added a sense of beauty to it, now, mosquitoes breed there and irresponsible residents throw garbage into it,” said S. Muthu, a resident.

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Stressing on the health risk posed by the canal, the residents said that a permanent solution must be found for the issue soon. Most houses in the area have all doors and windows fitted with mosquito nets. “After 5 p.m. it is impossible to open them. The mosquito coils these days also have no effect on them. We chase it with a mosquito bat or have to suffer through the night. My son contracted malaria last year and since then we are afraid,” said another resident. Open defecation Open defecation and garbage dumped along the canal banks were other problems being faced by the residents.“A lot of residents, even educated ones drive past this area in the night and throw their garbage. When asked, they say that they cannot keep food waste in their house. Does that mean that they can put it in front of mine just because I am not well to do?” asked a woman who lives in a shanty near the Vaical.

“We have raised complaints multiple times but in vain,” Mr. Muthu said.V. Sundararaju, former District Forest Officer and resident of the area, said that the civic body should give more importance to maintenance of waterbodies in the city. “We have several canals running across the city. These used to be sources of irrigation but now are filled with filth. Encroachments along the banks, stray pigs, dogs and cattle have made the area a terrible sight. The Corporation must take active effort to clean it,” he said.

(source : The Hindu)

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