The upcoming northeast monsoon is welcome for the water it will bring. At the same time, residents expect innundated roads, says T.S. Atul Swaminathan

The northeast monsoon is expected to hit the city by the end of October.

A question on everyone’s mind is whether our city is prepared to tackle a heavy outpour, which inundate the roads and bring vehicular traffic to a grinding halt every year.

The Hindu Downtown team spoke to a cross section of people on the measures to be undertaken by the civic body to prevent flooding.

“Despite the construction of storm water drains in K. K. Nagar, Rajamannar Salai, R.K. Shanmugam Salai, the western parts of K.K. Nagar get inundated during monsoon. It would be good if action was taken at the earliest to rectify the faults in the system,” says Priya Sivakumar, a resident of K. K. Nagar.

V. Ravichandran, a resident of Ashok Nagar, says, “The SWDS have been constructed in Ashok Nagar but need to be de-silted regularly. The civic body does not have a monsoon preparedness plan. In 1998, a project was started to construct SWDs as part of the Chennai City River Water Conservation Project. The project aimed at preventing flooding in metropolitan areas in the city with funds from Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu.

Though the Corporation claims the project to be successful, work execution is poor. The project has been implemented at an operational convenience. De-silting of drains should be held at proper intervals in the city, he added.

Residents of Sir Madhavan Road, Kodambakkam, have been fighting a futile battle for the past three to four years with the civic body over the construction of SWDs.

“The storm water drain work here is incomplete. As lot of new buildings are coming up, the debris and sand from the construction site clog the drains resulting in water stagnation,” residents said.

In Virguambakkam the project has not been implemented due to delay in widening of Kaliamman Koil Street, which links Virguambakkam Canal. Every year during monsoon water stagnation results in traffic congestion, says S. Arumai Nathan, a resident of Virguambakkam.

At Saligramam, Sriramar Street, Devaraj Nagar, Kumaran Colony Fourth Street, Vadapalani, and Arcot Road, the work on storm drains must be completed before the rains, residents say.

Though the drain system has been constructed in Pondy Bazaar and Usman Road, the rain water stagnates for an hour after a heavy shower. A lot needs to be done on Jagadambal Street, where a slight drizzle causes havoc.

“We have complained to the authorities concerned. But, no action has been taken till date to construct the storm sewer,” residents said.

With the festive season beginning and pre-monsoon showers already here , it is important that works on constructing the drains and rectifying the faults in the sewer drain start immediately, else city people will have a tough time in the days to come.

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