Hemalatha resides in a block of four apartments, set away from Dr. Ranga Road. Every time she steps out to shop the past five days, she glances at the two long pipes which have been spitting out water that is gathering in a large tank once constructed in her campus.
“We are getting brickbats from people around for doing this but we have no options,” she says.
Dr. Ranga Road was quickly flooded in the Nov.7 pounding record rain and so were the two Dr Ranga Lanes off this busy road. The floodwater on the road waned over days though not in one of the Lanes, where civic work is going on now.
But a few residents on this road, like the four families in Sri Rangam Flats realised that water was seeping from the ground, freely. This was also seen clearly in campuses which have sunk rainwater harvesting wells. “The water level is hardly a feet away from ground level here,” said one resident here.
But in Hemalatha, and her community’s case, action had to be taken because their plot is low-lying and water is not flowing out by itself and when the pumping from the tank, which is about 8/9 feet deep and perhaps it was sunk for the building’s needs earlier on, was on the residents realised that the level was not going down appreciably.
“It keeps refilling from the ground, obviously the ground is heavily recharged,” says Hemalatha.
Today, on Wednesday two pipes were seen emptying the water on to the road and it rolled eastwards.
“We have to be alert because if flooding takes place although the ground floor is the parking space, our power connections are located here,” says Hemalatha.
Rainwater harvesting expert Shekar Raghavan says groundwater has risen sharply in most parts of the city and there is nothing one can do about it even as the monsoon continues. “It can be heavily tapped in January,” he adds.
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