The plight of Perungudi

One sees quite a few articles on the real estate prices in Perungudi based on how its actually a fairly upscale location. After all, it’s fairly close to town as well as the IT campuses further up the IT Corridor. What many may not know is that Perungudi also has large offices of Accenture, Satyam, Cognizant and the national training centre of Sutherland. Given all this, one would imagine that the government of Perunguid, a Panchayat, would look at enhancing civics services to improve and attract further investments and residents. A quick status check will reveal the appalling truth.

Perungudi does not have piped water or sewerage yet. Most residents of the independent houses in the various residential layouts have to catch water from the taps on the road at specified times for all their needs. This is done without disruption. But the sewage is another story. Every independent house is supposed to have a septic tank. Most have dispensed with this, despite building impressive houses, and simply let the sewage run on to the roads. Many houses therefore have pools of stinking sewage outside the gate. This is bad enough, but wait, it gets worse. There are a number of places where the sewage from a house flows across the road and pools near the drinking water tap. So residents have to negotiate the sewage and catch their drinking water in close proximity to it.
What makes the situation even worse is that the Panchayat has done the residential layouts with roads with no drainage of any kind, not even a rudimentary storm water drain along the sides. So the rain water collects all the sewage standing around, and flows down the roads, eroding them in no time. Worse, the roads then have sewage infested rain water either flowing or standing in pools in all the areas that have been eroded. Which means residents are forced to walk through this mixture of sewage and rain water to the main road to catch a bus or a share auto. Many walk through this water barefoot, apparently not conscious of the risk of all kinds of infections that they could contract from the sewage.
This water also flows into vacant lots and forms stinking pools that stand for days on end till the sun dries it up, leaving a thick black coating of slime that continues to stink. In the meantime, swarms of mosquitoes breed in this water, spreading the risk of diseases such as Malaria and Chikunguniya. This water would flow along the side of the road if it had a chance. But is often blocked by garbage which the residents throw outside their homes on to the side of the road. The Panchayat is supposed to clear the garbage regularly, but does it sporadically despite complaints from residents of the water logging, dirt and smell. Many of them have to clear the area outside their homes on their own or suffer the water and the consequences. So the rains that came as such a boon to Chennai over the last month have really caused a lot of misery to local residents. (Many of whom are to blame for this state of affairs for not building septic tanks, or throwing the garbage on the road side indiscriminately).
With the work on the IT Corridor starting again (at last!), things have actually got worse, because there seems to be very little co-ordination between the Panchayat and the road builders. This was the only road into Perungudi that was open until recently. Now its blocked because they are doing the road in front of it, as well as the intersection at its other end.(The Panchayat recently laid a concrete road after much delay).
The second access road into Perungudi is blocked with a massive pit dug at its entrance to build a drain for the IT Corridor. This pit lay there with no work done for about six months, with traffic inching along its edges precariously. Now work has started, its been deepened and the road completely blocked off.
The third access road, which also leads to the well-known Abacaus school, had a pit dug in front of it over a year ago. For over a year, NO work has been done on this pit (10-12 feet deep and filled with sewage), and it continues to languish in the same state. Can you even begin to imagine what it’s like in the mornings when the children have to reach school?
The only access is a narrow mud track over mounds of garbage that twists close to the pit with such ups and downs that the average car will hit its bottom hard against the earth. This is also currently the only way residents who live around Abacus can access the IT Corridor. Every other way of entering or exiting is blocked. So this is Perungudi. Thinking of buying something here? Don’t. Not for a long time. Not till it becomes a part of Chennai and you have metro water (If t ever comes) and proper sewerage. Till then anything they tell you about Perungudi is a pipe dream. As it is still not recognized as a suburb, the mainline media dont write about the pathetic atate of affairs here. Now you know.

13 Comments so far

  1. Vivek (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 10:53 pm

    Thats why I keep telling, India is doomed man. India is marching towards its end. There is going to be a revolution soon like a civil war or something like that and slowly become a country like Somalia or Nigeria. People are really stressed and there is no recreation, no stress management. They get poor and poor, no food, no drinking water, no clean air, no infrastructure, more sick people, more deaths, more accidents and so on….people will lose their mind.
    On the other hand Politicians/Actors/Actress will drive in BMW and Honda Accord
    Unless people wake up NOW, there is a sure a bad news for Indians very soon.

  2. Suresh (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 11:16 pm


    It is great to see someone has highlighted the real plight of small neighborhoods around Chennai. I feel that proper Chennai city also has the same plight. For example I stayed in Nandanam when I visited Chennai and I was surprised to notice that the Corporation staff came in our street started cleaning the gutters (removing the slit) and throwing it in front of our houses. Then these guys come to us and ask for money to clean the mess up. I was shocked to see that in one day the entire street had the sewage slit lying in front of everyone’s house. It was just outrageous. We had to pay this guy money to clean it up!!!!

    I took a trip to Chennai from Dallas, TX last month and realized how bad the city has become when compared to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Vizag. I visited the rest of the above places as well.

    Here are my comments on the state of Chennai city:

    1) The architectural beauty of the city is lost almost everywhere as a lot of advertisement boards have come up blocking any part of the city view. The above ad boards blocks any circulation of breeze hence it makes life miserable for people living next to these boards.

    2) There used to be plenty of trees but you can hardly find them nowdays.

    3) Any junction in Chennai is surrounded by huge cut outs of Karunanidhi and his son. At a certain time I was getting sick looking at these cut outs as you can see them pretty much at every junction.

    4) Traffic has significantly increased but it has not become worse then the BLR traffic. Atleast it is moving. People get angry at the slightest mistake and start showering you with Chennai Tamil slang words!!

    5) Development in the south side (OMR road) has come to a stand still. It is a pathetic site to see that the road along PERUNGUDI and beyond have open sewers and people cross these with great difficulty to get from the petty shops to the road (by using planks of wood that are used as a bridge)

    6) Land prices have grown up so high that it is no longer affordable to even the NRI’s that plan to buy a plot in Chennai. I visited a development coming up next to Little Folks (40 kms from Thiruvamyur) and a 2400 sq.ft plot costs 18 lakhs rupees. There was nothing in the layout. They were just begining to create the layout and they were demanding so much money!!! People have literally become very greedy.

    7) Roads (even the main roads) are maintained so shabilly. You can see garbage lying on the road and the platforms. Hyderabad roads are maintained so clean. Even the layouts in Hyderabad are laid out very clean with roads, plants, electricity supply, drainage, water supply.

    8) Velachery main road (beyond Velachery) towards Medavakkam, Taramani road are all filled with garbage on either side.

    9) Dont forget the mosquitoes that prevent you from getting a good night sleep!! The rains added to the misery.

    This time around I felt that the city has become worse then what it used to be 5 yeards ago!!

    I am not sure that the city stands a chance to the other competing cities for revenue and growth.

    Lets all hope things would change.

    Vivek I felt the same way as you have mentioned in your comments this time when I visited Chennai!!!


  3. sathish (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 11:52 pm

    The main problem is none of the development projects are completed on time. They take years to complete and in the meantime life is completely screwed up for people living in the area.

    Unlike other terms, iam not sure why Muka and his Son are propogating their name like hell in Chennai

  4. tsk tsk (unregistered) on July 26th, 2007 @ 12:26 am

    which is why flats in ambattur sell faster than in perungudi

  5. Anbazhagan (unregistered) on July 26th, 2007 @ 11:23 am

    The main problem is due to the inactive governments, who just fight for their wealth and prosperity. We pay most from our packets compared to one in Northern India (for example Petrol costs Rs 42 in Delhi whereas same costs Rs 48 in Chennai and Rs 50 in Bangalore).

    The central government utilizes the fund from across India to build Delhi’s infrastructure. People here us RTI to get fruitful information from the governments. This makes the governments more responsible for the citizen.

    Though we call ourselves (South Indian) as more educated, we are not questioning the State and Central Govts for their inability to fulfill their promises.

    The politicians from South MUST see how NCR (Gurgaon & Noida) developed in short time, though they setup infrastructure just 7-5 years before. In Tamil Nadu, particularly in Chennai, it’s always between Jaya & Karuna.

    When people think of their wellness, they must realize our politicians and root them away from us. We should setup our own Residential Welfare Associations, which can work for the betterment of the locals. Same concept can be broadened to the larger area and to the entire state. If we don’t do this, we will perish as time goes off.

  6. hatechennai (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 1:51 am

    Chennai is the Most horrible city in the world .
    thanks to years of “Kazhaga Aatchi ” they have screwed up this place for good .

  7. panampalli (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 8:56 am

    I sort of agree with what one of the guys up there said that india is doomed. Unless something drastically changes, its going to get more exciting living in india at this rate.

    I lived for almost 15 years in perungudi. it used to be a village which had wells and paddy fields.Even until just about 10 years ago. I cant relate to this place anymore. So many memories of ours has come down to this – ‘garbage’

  8. Vivek (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

    I see that many people feel the same way that I do. Everybody wants to contribute and do something to improve, but there are no leaders to lead us. Maybe the blogging team may meet with persons like T.N.Sheshan and start something. I bet if had become President, India can be a super power by 2020. Kalam can only dream, TNSheshan has the power to do it. We gotta do something man, collectively.

  9. surya (unregistered) on July 28th, 2007 @ 7:59 am

    India has become a breeding ground for the worst people on earth by the circumstances, Indians are sub-humans the cities in India are a joke after being independant for so long we still have no water and proper sewerage, poor roads, no footpaths, nobody to enforce rules, metros are full of thugs who run a muck, politicians who are sucking our blood dry, too much western influence and feminism causing divorce rates to increase like real estate prices, the list goes on and on. Chennai has all these diseases like the rest of India it will only change if we have a communits regime where people can not escape the arms of the law.

  10. Vivek (unregistered) on July 29th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
  11. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on July 29th, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    Garbage and sewage: attracts flies.

  12. Manoj.M (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    If you really want to do something vote for parties like Lok Paritran. Its a party formed by highly educated people.

  13. Santhosh (unregistered) on August 1st, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    very true about the perungudi stuff……on a larger perspective none of us have the time and energy to pursue activities of civic interest though it bothers us so much…..we pay money for such services to the panchyat and we need to pray something is done….

    …’nt there a better way to solve this……yeap….someone said “Lok Paritran”…..very true but still a long way to go for them…….

    we should have pro-active judiciary rather than reactive judiciary…..reactive is when we take a case forward present evidence and then win or lose a case……but in pro-active judiciary….if such a thing can be created….the penalty is immediate….meaning the holders of justice witness things in real life and immediately penalizes the respective authorities… it missing man-hole covers or unpicked garbage…..

    just a thought…..can we create a pro-active judiciary

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