Rainwater enters shops on South Masi Street

Many shopkeepers were engaged in removing rainwater that had entered their shops on Friday morning.

The heavy downpour witnessed in the city on Thursday evening has resulted in rainwater entering many textile shops located on South Masi Street. The shopkeepers urge the Madurai Corporation officials to rectify the issues with ‘smart roads’ to avoid recurrence of such incidents.

Secretary of Tamil Nadu Textile Merchants Association Ashraf Tayub said that on Friday morning many shopkeepers were engaged in removing rainwater that had entered their shops. ‘Smart roads’ were laid on the four Masi streets under the Smart Cities Mission. These roads are entirely laid with concrete and have three underground ducts which are separated by concrete. The first underground duct will have electrical cables, the second will have communication cables and the last one will be used as storm water drains.

Under this project, the road height was increased, such that many shops are in equal height with the road, said Vinay Chopra, a textile shop owner. “As a result, rainwater entered around 30 shops following the downpour on Thursday evening,” he said.

Mr. Chopra used motors on Friday morning to pump out rainwater that had entered his shop. “The COVID-19 lockdown had caused a severe financial crisis for all textile shop owners. In this scenario, some goods were damaged due to rainwater entering the store,” he added.

Mr. Tayub pointed out that many sets of small holes were constructed on the ‘smart roads’ to drain water into the underground stormwater drains. “But, these drains are small and clogged with garbage, making it difficult to drain the rainwater underground,” he added. Hence, the officials must take steps to rectify these issues, he added.

A Corporation official said that the shopkeepers are clogging all the holes by dumping garbage into it. “But, we are regularly clearing these holes to ensure that water drains into the underground stormwater drains,” he added.

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