The Chennai Corporation has advanced the deadline for completion of desilting of stormwater drains to July 31. Of the 1400 km stormwater drains in the city, 400 km have been desilted so far. Desilting of around 1000 km of stormwater drains will be completed in one month on a war footing. The effort is part of the pre-monsoon preparedness in the 426 sq km of the city.

The Chennai Corporation usually completes work on desilting of stormwater drains before the third week of September to cope with the vagaries of the north east monsoon.

At a pre-monsoon preparedness meeting held on Saturday, officials at the 15 zones were asked to speed up the work of desilting with additional workers on contract. Tenders for contract work to desilt stormwater drains will be finalised quickly at the zonal level in the coming weeks. The workers on contract will be in addition to the existing workers of the Chennai Corporation.

The existing 120 malaria desilting workers in the old city limits of 172 sq km, and 162 malaria desilting workers in added areas are not adequate for completing the work before the deadline, officials said.

Most of the 162 malaria desilting workers in the added areas of Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur, were earlier part of the 42 local bodies on the outskirts.

The Chennai Corporation continues to face the challenge of illegal sewer connections in most of its stormwater drains. Plugging of illegal sewer connections in stormwater drains is yet to gain momentum. These sewer connections in stormwater drains are likely to be a challenge in the coming weeks during the desilting work.

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