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Sea water intrudes into Chennai neighbourhood, houses damaged

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Press Trust of India Chennai
A number of houses were seriously damaged and a couple of them flattened here at a fishing neighbourhood abutting the shore following intrusion of sea water over the past one week, residents said today.
Ruling AIADMK local MLA and former Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, R Nataraj, who inspected the affected area, said only "23 houses were damaged."

Government is ready to provide them alternative accomodation, they said.
"Immediate relief (to meet basic needs like food) has been provided and fisheries department is looking into the matter," the MLA said.
Residents have urged the government for safe, alternative dwelling units.
"Sea water intrusion has damaged my house badly and now I have moved on to a rented accomodation nearby," said T Vetri, a fisherman-resident of Srinivasapuram at Foreshore Estate.
Tidal waves surging towards the habitation zone is a phenomenon witnessed for the past about four years during this period of the year, he said.
"In previous years, only a few houses were damaged," he told PTI and claimed that "this year the count has gone up to 35."

The damage to the houses were following waves pounding the neighbourhood for about a week, he said.
The Srinivasapuram neighbourhood is in the heart of the city close to the Marina beach.
Several fishermen live in ramshackle dwelling units while there are housing board tenements as well in the locality.
Since the houses were damaged, Vetri said he and others could not go for fishing affecting their livelihood.
"I don't have a proper place to park my catamaran and dry my fishing gear and nets."

He urged the government to provide them with alternative housing units, flagging it as their key demand.
Jayaraman, another fisherman living in a housing board tenement, backed his demand, saying "the government should provide relief to the affected fishermen families."

President of South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association K Barathi said had dredging activity been stepped up at the Adyar river mouth, such a scenario could have been avoided.
He said the affected area lay at a point near which the Adyar river joined the sea and the blocks at the river mouth area contributed to the sea water intrusion.
"The affected fishermen should be provided safe alternative houses," he said and appealed to authorities not to allow dwelling units close to the shore in future since these were not safe.
A top government official said once the fisheries department sent in its inputs, the matter would be taken forward.

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First Published: Jun 27 2018 | 10:05 PM IST

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