CHENNAI: Rains have rocked the city over the past two days and the Meteorological department has sounded a ‘red alert for Sunday. Now, finding ways to drain rainwater is the top concern. But a narrow, lengthy and illegal building near the Perungudi MRTS railway station is blocking the pathway that drains rainwater from the nearby residential areas into the Pallikaranai marshland.
No one, including the local government officials, has any clue regarding this mysterious building. The new building is close to the newly built culverts beneath the MRTS railway tracks, which are meant to drain rainwater from Velacherry and Perungudi. But residents fear a repeat of the 2015 floods, as the new building may prevent draining of rainwater.
Tansi Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association general secretary M Balakrishnan said, “We are clueless about who has given permission for this building which blocks the culverts. We have lodged complaints with the officials but in vain.”He said a compound wall was similarly constructed blocking the culverts, but it was demolished within a few days after a complaint was lodged with the officials. But this building has been spared despite the Madras High Court taking cognizance of the danger the building poses. But local officials also said they were clueless about who had constructed this building.
When Express queried Nirmala, Tahsildar (Sholinganallur) on the issue, she said, “We are waiting for a response from the railways on how much of the land belongs to them. Once we get the response, we will issue the notice to the person who built the building. We will soon take up the land measurements and take steps for the demolition.”When Express queried a railway official, he said, “The government has planned to hand over the land to us. But it was not yet done.” Hence, he maintained that the Railways had no role in the encroachment.