Central Buckingham canal, an eyesore clogged with waste, may soon have a newer, cleaner look, as the Water Resources Department is set to begin its project to improve the waterway.
The project, approved under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, had been delayed for several months owing to hitches in removing encroachments along the bank of the waterway.
The WRD has now decided to move forward with the project to desilt and deepen the seven-km waterway stretching from Chepauk to Adyar. “We want to improve the stretch of the canal wherever possible instead of waiting for the entire process of encroachment removal to be completed,” said a source. Officials of the WRD said that there are about 5,000 encroaching structures along the canal. The stretches near Mylapore and Mandaveli have been heavily encroached upon.
A tender will be soon be called for the project, worth Rs. 60 crore.
Similarly, work to widen and desilt Porur lake’s surplus course, which runs for six km, is also expected to begin in a month as the tender is being finalised. This would alleviate flooding in areas such as Porur and Mugalivakkam.
Meanwhile, the WRD has started removing garbage that blocks the free flow of water in various waterways. Some of the stretches of the waterways such as those near Jafferkhanpet, Chennai Central station and Dr. Ambedkar Nagar have been identified to be desilted immediately to prevent breeding of mosquitoes. This work will be completed in a week.
About 70 per cent of the work to desilt north Buckingham canal has been completed. This will mitigate flooding during the oncoming northeast monsoon, as the canal carrying capacity has been doubled, said officials.