The Tiruchi Corporation would soon take over from the Public Works Department the maintenance of four major drainage channels in the City, said K.N. Nehru, Transport Minister, here on Tuesday.

While several drainage channels criss-cross the City, eight of them are major ones that serve as a vital network of storm water drains. All of them had been irrigation canals in the past and four of them – the Virupachipuram, Vannarapettai, Thennur Irattai and Kottai Vaicals – were handed over to the Corporation for maintenance by the Public Works Department some years back as they no longer had any ayacut area.

The other four – Kathan, Thotti, Devadhanam and Tharanallur vaicals – are also to be taken over by the Corporation now, Mr. Nehru said after inspecting the progress of the flood prevention scheme works and some of the flood prone areas in the City ahead of the onset of monsoons.

Mr. Nehru also disclosed that the four channels which were already under the Corporation maintenance would be widened and de-silted within the next fortnight. He instructed the Corporation officials to remove all encroachments on the channels immediately. About 760 encroachments have already been identified on the eight major drainages in the City.

The Corporation, he said, was planning to provide concrete linings to all the major drainage channels in the City. The project was planned to be taken up utilising funds expected under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

After inspecting the flood prone areas around Edamalaipattipudur, Mr. Nehru said the PWD would soon renovate the channel running from Kollankulam to the Puthur Weir. A culvert across the Tiruchi-Madurai Highway would be widened by the Highways Department. Another culvert across the Tiruchi-Dindigul Highway near National College would also be widened to ensure free flow of the drain.

M. Moorthy, Chief Engineer, PWD, Tiruchi region, who also accompanied the Minister, said work on 47 of the 49 components of the Rs. 253 crore flood prevention scheme were underway in full swing. All the works would be completed before June 2010. Works on strengthening the vulnerable stretches of the Cauvery River at Vengur and Melur have already been completed.

T. Soundiah, Collector, S. Sujatha, Mayor, T.T. Balsamy, Corporation Commissioner, K.K. Palanisamy, Superintending Engineer, PWD, C. Kannappan, Executive Engineer, PWD (RC Division), M. Ambedkar, Divisional Engineer, Highways, M. Anbazhagan, Deputy Mayor, and other officials accompanied the Minister.