Friday, October 9, 2015

Residents of OMR come together to voice their woes


Updated: October 9, 2015 05:35 IST

Residents of OMR come together to voice their woes

COMMENT   ·   PRINT   ·   T  T  
FOMRRA will highlight grievances of residents living between Madhya Kailash and Mamallapuram —File photo
FOMRRA will highlight grievances of residents living between Madhya Kailash and Mamallapuram —File photo

It is officially called Rajiv Gandhi Salai, but it is known more popularly as Old Mamallapuram Road and Information Technology corridor. It was touted as the best thing to happen to Chennai when it started taking shape over a decade ago, during the boom in the software sector.
But the several thousand families living along OMR encounter bad roads, poorly lit streets, open drains and sewage stagnating outside their homes, today. “We pay water tax, but do not get water. The property tax we pay is higher than those living in posh localities in Chennai, but get nothing,” says Harsha Koda, a resident, who is part of an effort to bring residents of OMR under one strong civic group.
The federation of OMR Residents Associations — FOMRRA — hopes to bring nearly 400 residents’ welfare associations living in areas between Madhya Kailash and Mamallapuram together in a united struggle to highlight their grievances and raise their demands in a single voice. “Drinking water from the desalination plant is supplied as far as Thiruvanmiyur, but localities like Sholinganallur, which are much ahead, are deprived of it. Civic groups meet officials and elected representatives with the similar list of grievances. We want to raise such issues as part of a larger, stronger group,” Mr. Koda says, on the objective behind starting a federation.
The federation’s blog (, says they have been suffering due to years of government apathy and the cartel formed by private water tanker and sewage disposal operators. The federation will also be taking up issues relating to traffic problems, road safety, water logging and encroachment among others. People who wish to join the federation can contact them;

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GIS mapping in T Nagar, Sholinganallur soon

,TNN | Apr 28, 2015, 07.48 PM IST

CHENNAI: To create a digital map of the city, Corporation of Chennai has roped in a private consultant to record properties, street lights, roads and storm water drains in two areas in the city on a pilot basis. 

The mapping will be carried out through 3D geographical information system (GIS) mapping using LiDAR (light, detection and ranging) in selected localities of T Nagar and Sholinganallur from the first week of May. While T-Nagar is a highly commercial area, Sholinganallur, too, is witnessing huge developmental activities because of the IT boom. 

"These two areas have a potential to con tribute a major part of the property tax mainly because of the large number of high-rise buildings. The 3D GIS method of mapping using LiDAR collects accurate data of ownership, land dimensions, built-up area, number of floors and a line drawing of each building," said a representative of the private firm. 

He said GIS mapping will able to detect illegal constructions and properties that have not been assessed. "This will also generate additional revenue in the form of property tax," he added. 

Corporation officials say they would consider mapping the entire city (426 sqkm) through GIS based on the feedback of the pilot project. "It will take nearly five years to map the entire city," said an official. 

In 2010, the civic body had mapped a few parts of city through GIS, but the data has become outdated as it failed to update the changes in the localities and also did not expand the map to include other parts of the city. 

At present, most civic agencies, which includes the corporation, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and Metrowater, don't have an updated digital data of the city. This hampers planning and major infrastructure work. 

Experts said the corporation's move to map the city is expected to throw light on the lapses in the revenue collected since properties that have not been assessed can now be identified. 

"But there should be good coordination between various civic agencies for better results. Ideally, a digital mapping should be done jointly by the Chennai Corporation, Metrowater, TNEB and BSNL for better planning," said an expert. 

The municipal corporations in Hyderabad and Bengaluru have also used GIS to find properties that have not been assessed by allotting a unique identification number to each one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Water infrastructure, a problem in added areas

COMMENT (3)   ·   PRINT   ·   T  T  

Even as efforts are on to implement water supply schemes in the added areas, several suburban residents complain they are forced to purchase water due to inadequate supply.

What’s more: residents are asked to pay water tax for infrastructure that is not yet in place.
Residents of Sholinganallur and Okkiyam-Thoraipakkam say several streets have remained without water supply for several months now.

Harsha Koda, a resident of Sholinganallur, says only a few of colonies on Old Mahabalipuram Road get water through the piped network.

“We do not get supply even through Metrowater tankers. We buy water through private tankers but are being asked to pay water tax,” he says.

Metrowater collects seven per cent of the annual rental value fixed by the Chennai Corporation as water and sewerage tax, irrespective of whether a supply network is in place or not.

While some parts of Okkiyam-Thoraipakkam, like Chandrasekar Avenue, get supplied with water, residents of Srividya Avenue have to manage with groundwater resources.

Residents demand that at least street supply be provided at regular intervals.

S. Chidambaram of Madipakkam says they depend on packaged drinking water despite having remitted their deposits for water connection.

P.K. Subramanian, president of Federation of Adambakkam Welfare Association, says though pipelines have been laid, water supply has not improved in many parts of his neighbourhood.

Meenambakkam and Pazhavanthangal in Nanganallur are some of the areas where water supply has seen improvement, with Metrowater starting a trial run of water supply, says Latha Ramanujam of Nanganallur.

At present, of the 600 million litres a day (mld), nearly 100 mld is provided to added areas through pipelines and tankers. Officials says work is on in full swing to lay a pipeline network in suburban localities. Of the 42 merged areas, work has been completed in eight localities, including Valsaravakkam, Meenambakkam and Ambattur.

Water supply schemes are being implemented in nearly 28 areas, including Nerkundram, Okkiyam-Thoraipakkam, Sholinganallur, Mugalivakkam, Kottivakkam and Manali.

Similar schemes will be started in six more areas, including Madipakkam and Neelankarai, under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission funds.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chennai's outer areas to get drain system at Rs 4,000 crore

Chennai's outer areas to get drain system at Rs 4,000 crore

Ahmedabad: People wade through a waterlogged street after heavy rains in Ahmedab...
The integrated network, covering more than 250 sqkm, will drain rainwater into the city rivers that will carry it to the sea. (PTI photo)
CHENNAI: Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Sholinganallur and five other areas added to the city corporation in 2011 can hope for some respite from waterlogging around five years from now, with the civic body preparing to execute a massive Rs 4,034-crore project for a storm water drain network in these neighbourhoods.

The integrated network, covering more than 250 sqkm, will drain rainwater into the city rivers that will carry it to the sea. The corporation, however, has not revealed if the drains will be connected to rainwater harvesting systems to replenish aquifers in the city where the groundwater levels have plummeted.

These areas will also get an underground sewerage network at an estimated Rs 400 crore, the government announced in the assembly on Friday.

"We will start work on the integrated storm water drain system by the end of this calendar year or at the end of this fiscal. It will take five years to complete," a senior corporation official said. Over the period of construction, the cost is likely to escalate to 5,313 crore, according to estimates in a detailed project report, making it one of the corporation's biggest projects.

Residents of the areas expected to benefit from the drain network welcomed the announcement. "This promises great relief to several areas where life comes to a standstill whenever it rains," said Ravindran Narayanan, of Ambattur. "Since this is not a low-lying area, water always flows from here and collects in Mogappair East."

The public works department in 2009 started work on a storm water drain project to prevent flooding with funding of 1,448 crore from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM). The work is still in progress.

"The project will augment the existing storm water drain network by 1,069.4km," the official said. The project area is divided into four drainage basins, Kosasthalaiyar (originating in Vellore), Cooum, Adyar and Kovalam.

Friday, August 1, 2014

An end to water woes?

An end to water woes?

COMMENT (1)   ·   PRINT   ·   T  T  
  • Most of the IT corridor's water needs are met by water tankers Photo: M. Karunakaran
    The HinduMost of the IT corridor's water needs are met by water tankers Photo: M. Karunakaran
In the last decade, the number of people living along the Rajiv Gandhi Salai and East Coast Road has doubled. With more companies eyeing the IT corridor, Chennai Metrowater is proposing to develop a comprehensive water supply project to cater to the water needs of the burgeoning population.
As there is potential to develop a project partly funded by users in the fast-developing IT corridor, Chennai Metrowater has sought the support of Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructural Finance Services Limited (TNUIFSL) to appoint a consultant to prepare a feasibility report.
Sources in the Metrowater said the population in this region has doubled from 3 lakh to 6 lakh. It comprises Sholinganallur, Perungudi and Ullagaram-Puzhuthivakkam zones and has witnessed a rapid growth with nearly 270 million sq.ft. of office space developed in the past decade along ECR and Rajiv Gandhi Salai and housing over one lakh employees.
At present, residential pockets in Sholinganallur and Perungudi are being supplied with 20 million litres a day sourced from borewells and largely transported by tankers. Several IT companies largely depend on private tankers to meet their daily needs.
To match the demand of the growing population of the residential and industrial areas, the water agency has decided to prioritise piped water supply service. “We are looking at the option of developing a model partly funded by users to provide consistent piped water supply. We want to check how viable the project is before implementing it,” said a source.
The consultant to be chosen by the TNUIFSL will have to present a report on the viability of the project to provide user fee-based piped water supply. Besides conducting a detailed survey of the available sources, the consultant will have to make a survey of the demands of various types of users and their willingness to pay for the service. The report will also have to suggest the tariff for various types of users.
It will also have to identify deficiencies in the existing water supply system and provide suggestions to implement the project on public private partnership method. Based on the report, the water agency will roll out measures to prepare a detailed report to implement the project, sources said.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

AGM Minutes


The AGM-2014 of STAOA was held on Sunday 4th May 2014, 11 am at Sabari Terrace. Here is an update of the events of the day.

Representatives from the following Apartments attended the AGM
  • First Block
    • 1-4C (Sunil's Manager)
    • 1-4D (Meena and Suresh)
  • Second  Block
    • 2-1A (Raji) , 
    • 2-1C (Sowmya & Shankar)
    • 2-1D (Krithika)
    • 2-2B (Srinivas and Vijaya)
    • 2-3A (Vaidehi)
    • 2-3C (Anand's in-laws)
  • Third Block -
    • 3-1A (Priyaranjan's rep. - Venkatesh)
    • 3-1C (Amit & Ruchi)
    • 3-1D ((Sirish)
    • 3-3A (Balraj)
    • 3-3C (Prabha & Harsha)
  • Fourth Block
    • 4-1A (Mahidar)
    • 4-1D (Binoy)
    • 4-2C (Shekar)
    • 4-3A (Veena)
    • 4-3C (Ravi)
    • 4-3D (Ravi)
    • 4-4A (Preethi)
    • 4-4B (Venkatesh)
    • 4-4C (Subhadra's rep. - Venkatesh)
Some messages from those who could not attend the AGM
  • 1-1D - Vidhya Raja - Today we r having our family function at kancheepuram , we r unable to attend ,sorry for the inconvenience , and v wish the present sec Mr Harsha koda can continue . Thanking you . Vidhya raja..
  • 3-3B - Rajshekar Y - Have told prakash that i will not be attending agm. Shall meet you today if possible. Raj
  • 4-3B - Prashanth Gnanadesigan - Hi Harsha, I'll not be making it. Have a function to attend
  • 4-2B Vidya Gajapathi Raju -  Am working that day for a wedding function ! May not make it ! Apologies. !! Pls let me know if any decisions are to be decided vidya
  • 1-3C Narendhar - I am out of station on work Mr.Harish and hence will not be able to attend the meeting. Dr. Narendhar.
  • 4-4D Balaji - We are at Salem Harsha. We are very much impressed and satisfied about your leadership of the association and we extend our support to you for all the coming years too. Wishing you all the best Harsha. With warm regards. Balaji family. 4-4D, Sabari Terrace.
  • 2-3B Prabhu Kumar - Hope you and everyone else at Sabari Terrace are doing fine! Well, unfortunately we will not be available for the AGM on 4th May. We had originally planned our vacation sometime now but has been postponed to June. Will surely pay a visit when I am there. I will catch up with the minutes. If there is anything else you require from our end, please feel free to let me know. Thank you. Best wishes.

The President Ravi Alfred, declared the Annual General Body Meeting open.
In his brief talk he thanked Harsha, Srinivas and all the other committee members for their co-operation.

The  Treasurer Srinivas E, submitted the accounts for the period 2013-2014 to all those present and explained the various challenges he encountered in balancing the books.

The Secretary's (Harsha Koda) Report   on the activities of 2013-2014

Repairs - As part of an ongoing process the following major repairs were undertaken
  • Genset change-over switch replaced due to wear and tear
  • Paving blocks repaired
  • Electrical underground ducts repaired
  • Lift Rod (1st block)
  • Lift relay switch and Rope (2nd block)
  • Lift fan replaced (4th block)
  • Roof leakage in gym repaired.
  • Staircase windows repaired
  • Door closer repaired

  • New STP motor purchased.
  • Old motor repaired and kept as stand-by
  • Wall cracks in underground chamber repaired with waterproofing

AMCs and licenses - All the required AMCs and licenses have been updated and renewed
  • Genset oil service  - every month
  • Gym AMC renewed
  • Security cameras AMC renewed
  • Gym A/C AMC renewed
  • Lift AMC changed to Christ Lift due to bad service and higher cost from Kannan Lifts

Pest Control
  • Termite treatment for common areas in ground floor/stilt level carried out in June.
  • Cockroach Pest control - every 3 months
  • Rat Pest control - as per requirement
  • Pigeon net fixed in all ducts in south side of building

  • Lift Licence renewed upto May 2015
  • Overhead tanks, Sumps, Sludge cleaning in June and Sept - next due in May 2014

Commercial EB
As a "by-product" of having so many commercial tenants all our common electricity will be soon converted to commercial. The difference amount is being collected from commercial operators from Aug 2013.

  • All metal gates and grills in common areas painted due to corrosion/wear-and-tear.
  • All staircases and lift lobbies, were painted with washable paints.  

Water leakages
In the last AGM this problem  was discussed and detailed that more than 90 % of these leakages were from commercial (PG/GH) flats. We have sent out mails to all such owners. Most of them did not take action on this. It was decided to take up the repairs to external walls and conduits in a phased manner and completed by December.
  • Spouts for all bathrooms extended
  • New spouts fixed for 4th block - all bathrooms

Security Guards
For sometime we have seen that the quality of security guards and the management in general of Eagle Security has been on the decline. In the month of November/December 2013 it was way below standard. We have since replaced the agency and from 1st Jan 2014 DJ Security agency is doing a good job.

Members who attended the AGM expressed their appreciation about the commitment to duty that the security staff demonstrated. In fact, Meena Suresh, who has been away for almost a year, said she was pleased that she was asked to "make an entry" in the visitors book.

Mohan's problems continue
We brought up this issue at the last AGM. One year down the line very little has changed as far a Mohan and his apartments are concerned.

A notable fact in this meeting was that the owners who have rented their apartments to Mohan came out with the various issues they have been facing. Some of them requested for the Committee's help. 

Though a few owners have asked him to vacate, he still has a considerable presence at Sabari Terrace. The maintenance continues to come late every month - sometimes only on the 30th. We have also been informed that several members have not receivedd their rent for 3 months at a time. Instances of non-payment of TNEB bills have also been brought to our notice. Please note that the owners will be liable for all defaults by the tenant. Kindly keep this in mind before returning/adjusting the security deposit with the tenant.

As this issue has been a continuing one, we request the concerned owners to write/email the committee with their exact concerns so that we can try and solve the issues.

Future plans - The following activities/purchases/repairs are planned for the year 2014-2015. They will be carried out as soon as funds are allocated.
  • New computer for office - Urgent
  • Genset covering against rain - Urgent
  • Lights in the South side passage
  • Water cut-off valves for commercial apartments
  • Intercom/security phone - replace/repair
  • Digging of a new Well for water
  • Extension of garden area
  • Covering lift with vinyl stickers
  • Painting of all buildings

New committee members

Ravi Alfred (4-3C) has been wanting to retire from his post as President for a while and this time he was quite firm on it. He however continues to be a committee member.

For 3 years now, I, Harsha Koda (3-3C), have been holding the post of Secretary. I requested several of the other resident members present at the AGM  to take up the post and relieve me of this duty, but, none of them came forward. So, I have once again been unanimously elected as the Secretary.  Looking forward to your continued support.

Srinivas Edupuganti (2-2B), the incumbent Treasurer, as most of you are aware, has moved out of Sabari Terrace for personal reasons. He however retains his apartment here. He has been elected as the President.

The new Treasurer is Binoy Kenny (4-1D).

The following is the final list of newly elected committee:
  • President   E Srinivas 2-2B
  • Secretary Harsha Koda 3-3C
  • Treasurer Binoy Kenny 4-1D
Other members - some new members have volunteered to help with the work as committee members. Some incumbent committee members like Amit Jain (3-1C) and Subramanian (4-2A) have asked to be relieved.
  • Suresh Ganesan 1-4D
  • Krithika Anand 2-1D 
  • Vaidehi Rengan 2-3A
  • Sirish Patel 3-1D
  • Shekar Subramanian 4-2C
  • Ravi Alfred 4-3C
  • Preethi Athreya 4-4A
  • Venkatesh 4-4B 
If I have missed out something please let me know and I will send another mail sometime soon.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the next meeting.

Harsha Koda

 Reactions to the mail 
  • 1-1A Prem Karra - Thanks for the update.As both my son and I are abroad we could not attend the meeting
  • 1-3A Balaji Vaidyanath - My apologies as I didn't intimate about my absence.  Many thanks for the great/thankless work done by you.
  • 3-3D Harri krishnanMy apologies on not communicating earlier as i was travelling. Glad that the property is in great hands and that you guys are doing a great job. Hope my tenant is in line and behaving himself. Kindly let me know if there is anything i have to do.
  • 4-3B Prashanth Gnanadesikan - Hi Harsha / Srinivas, Congrats on being elected again (Srinivas as a President). Looking forward for your continued support. PS: Don't have Binoy's email - please forward my wishes.