Beset by problems and awaiting development

Though located adjacent to the State capital, Poonamallee is yet to get any significant infrastructure upgrades

The Poonamallee Assembly constituency, which has several industrial areas and is adjacent to the State capital, requires a lot of infrastructure development, including functional sewer lines and a robust drinking water supply, say residents.

Babu, a resident of Kakalur, said sewer networks were yet to be laid in many areas.

“Over the years, residential localities like ours have become thickly populated. Though we are only some 3 km from Tiruvallur town, we are yet to see any development or amenities. We are pinning our hopes on our becoming part of the CMDA and the Greater Chennai Corporation for things to improve,” he said.

The lack of underground drainage networks has also led to many small lakes and tanks being polluted by local bodies that have been letting out untreated sewage into them.

A 10-year-long fight by an industrialist at Varadharajapuram has finally led to a lake in the locality being cleaned of garbage that was dumped by the local body. However, now it is being used to dump sewage.

Poonamallee town, from which the reserved segment takes its name, too, does not have a sewage network. DMK MLA A. Krishnaswamy said the proposal was made in 2006 but it had been put on hold for want of land acquisition for construction of pumping stations.

Sewerage, water issues

“It took me over a year just to trace the file and get the Collectorate to restart the process. We need sewage treatment plants at several places, including Kattupakkam, Nazarathpet, and Kundrathur. Hopefully, something will be done to move the ₹1,000 crore project forward,” he said.

Though the constituency, which is part of Tiruvallur district, is home to Chembarambakkam lake, water supply, too, is an issue.

“We cannot even consume a glass of water from the lake, which caters to Chennai city. A combined water supply scheme must be implemented to ensure water supply,” Mr. Krishnaswamy added.

Home to thousands of small and medium scale industries scattered across Thirumazhisai, Kakkalur, Senneerkuppam, Varadharajapuram and Nemam, many industrialists talk of labour problems.

“We are lucky, we haven’t had labour unrest in recent times. However, in many cases, people just walk in and demand money. Big industries pay mamool and manage. But the small ones with a few employees cannot do such things. There are also cases of thefts that are not taken seriously by the police. Any number of complaints do not seem to have any effect on such persons,” said an industrialist, who did not want to be named.

With a burgeoning population and a high concentration of industries, traffic is another major problem in this constituency.

Though the arterial National Highways running through the constituency witness an enormous number of vehicles, widening work is moving at a snail’s pace.

“Work on three road overbridges at Veppampet, Putlur and Sevvaipettai are yet to be completed, causing jams at these locations. People are losing patience, waiting for the Highways Department to finish these works,” said Veppampet resident S. Saikumar.

Roads in Poonamallee town get congested during peak hours. An upcoming terminus at Kuthambakkam has brought some hope to residents in that locality.

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