Work to construct a short-cut channel to carry surplus water from the Velachery Lake to South Buckingham Canal is facing hurdles, as there is no space to make precast concrete structures.
The Rs. 58.15 crore project is being implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, to prevent flooding in Vijay Nagar and other areas in Velachery.
As it takes time to drain floodwater from Velachery lake’s existing surplus course into the sea through Pallikaranai marshland and Muttukadu, the Water Resources Department (WRD) designed a new channel to reduce the distance by half, and drain the water into south Buckingham canal and then into the Adyar river.
Of the 4.1 km proposed for the channel, only a little over 1 km has been built so far, over the course of a year. In order to expedite the process, the WRD decided to make precast concrete blocks for the channel.
However, portions of the plant, set up to make these concrete blocks in Kaiveli, Pallikaranai, was demolished in an eviction drive carried out by the Kancheepuram Collectorate on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Officials of the WRD said this would further push the deadline of the project, as there was no alternative site nearby. “We need space to make and cure the blocks. We need 2,500 such blocks to complete the project,” said an official.
According to the district administration, the eviction drive was carried out to retrieve five acres of marshland. The WRD had not obtained permission from government agencies, including the Kancheepuram Collectorate and the Forest Department, to run the plant on the one-acre siteThe remaining space was used by traders dealing in firewood.