Otteri Nullah diversion channel constructed for nearly 300 metres on Third Avenue; diversions on the stretch to be withdrawn

Residents of Anna Nagar who have been taking a detour due to work on the Otteri Nullah diversion channel project may soon be relieved.

At present, the box-type channel has been constructed for nearly 300 metres on Third Avenue. Mud dumped along the work site will be removed in a couple of days after which the Chennai Corporation will begin re-laying the road. Traffic congestion on the stretch is expected to ease in 10 days after the detours are withdrawn.

Since February, traffic has been allowed only on the portion of Third Avenue that leads to New Avadi Road. A stretch of the arterial road was barricaded for the purpose and traffic has been diverted. Motorists have also been forced to take several traffic diversions due to other developmental projects under way, including the Metro Rail.

The long-pending project to construct the channel along Third Avenue was finally started early this year. The Water Resources Department (WRD) had devised the project to divert excess water from the Otteri Nullah through a link with the Cooum river.

Residents have welcomed the move aimed at preventing flooding during the monsoon. Sivagami Babu, a resident of Third Avenue, recalled her apartment complex was heavily flooded in 2005 as Otteri Nullah carried water beyond its capacity.

Officials of the WRD said the concrete channel is being built at a depth of two feet to five feet below road level. With a width of four metre and a depth of two metre, the channel will carry 400 cubic feet of flood water per second. The channel will run up to a distance of 1.5 km and link with Cooum river near Brewery Road, Anna Nagar.

Residents had raised doubts if heavy traffic would be able to ply over the channel. Putting these concerns to rest, WRD officials said the channel has been designed according to the Indian Road Congress standards to withstand the heavy traffic on the arterial road connecting New Avadi Road and Poonamallee High Road.

“We will complete the project by this year-end or early next year,” said an official.

The Rs. 10-crore project proposed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission is part of a larger scheme to improve Otteri Nullah.

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