Rain exposes shoddy work by civic body

The city woke up to a slushy morning on Wednesday after the heavy downpour late Tuesday evening left many areas inundated.
With storm water drains clogged at several parts of the city, rain water had gushed into residential areas and school compounds. Roads where the city corporation is carrying out underground drainage work looked like mud wrestling pits.Incidents of people falling into pits dug for laying storm water drains were reported from many places. Fortunately, none suffered any major injury. Traffic flow was affected after three pits were formed on Mettupalayam road near Sivananda Colony. Normalcy was restored in most of these localities by late afternoon and corporation workers began to level the roads and remove the mud from the main roads in some of these areas.
At some places like Saibaba Koil, public anger against the shoddy work of the corporation spilled out into the streets. "None of the drains have been properly cleaned and there is no way for water to flow out. It was impossible to walk out of the house," said KB Sreeram, a resident of Palanisamy II Street near Saibaba Koil.Residents of this street staged a demonstration on the main street near Saibaba Koil forcing corporation officials and police to rush to the spot. A bulldozer and few civic workers were dispatched immediately to clear the mess. Residents claimed that a class 9 student lost her footing and fell into one of the pits dug for laying storm water drains. "The work has been going on for a long time now. Due to water logging, it was extremely dangerous even to walk through the street since we can't locate the drainage lines," said G Muthu, a grocery shop owner on the street.
Similar situation prevailed in numerous areas including Satya Nagar, Chinna Subbannan Gounder Street and some parts of NSR Street where stagnant water created major issues for residents and motorists. "I was constantly trying to get in touch with the UGD contractors to get the mud lying on the street cleared, but they did not turn up until people came out and protested," said K Nagaraj, councillor, ward no 10, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation.
Traffic movement was suspended through Avinashi Bridge underpass after it got blocked with garbage and slush washed in with the gushing rain water. The heavy rain also affected low lying areas on Lanka Corner, Ukkadam, Gandhipuram, Sanganoor Road and Rathinapuri.
Traders in MGR wholesale market claimed that they will have to lower the price of goods especially onions, potatoes and cabbages that were stacked outside their stalls due to the damage caused by the showers and the standing water. More than 10,000 loads of onion are sent from this wholesale market to other states and also to various parts of the city on a regular basis. "There are no proper roofing and storage facilities in the market. The drains are blocked with garbage. When it rains, the mud and slush from outside also flow into the market complex," said A Mohammed Ali, a wholesale onion dealer.


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