Residents along the city’s waterways may soon get some relief from the increasing mosquito menace and the impending flooding during northeast monsoon. The Water Resources Department plans to start desilting the waterways clogged with weeds and garbage to mitigate inundation.

The department has called for tenders for the project worth Rs.3.6 crore to clean up over 70 km of various waterways in and around the city. The work on the different stretches is set to begin next week.

M.J. Gopalan, a resident of Sree Sayee Nagar Annexe, Virugambakkam, said that some portions of the canal were cleaned a few months ago. But, the canal near stretches such as Postal Audit Colony is already covered with weeds. “Last time too, the waterway was not cleaned properly,” he said.

Residents of Kodungaiyur complained that the waterways have been clogged with plastic waste particularly along Tondiarpet High Road for several years.

K. Mohan, a resident of Netaji Nagar, Jafferkhanpet, wanted the Adyar river to be desilted frequently as water stagnation led to mosquito breeding. “All our efforts to safeguard ourselves from the increasing mosquitoes go futile,” he said.

Besides removing silt from Cooum and Adyar rivers, the department plans to de-weed Velachery tank. Officials said that sandbags would be placed at vulnerable points alongside the Adyar to prevent mud sliding from the banks.

For the first time in the recent years, water hyacinth and other overgrown vegetation in Perungudi tank will also be removed. The nearly seven-km long stretch of Central Buckingham canal between Chepauk and Adyar will also be covered under the project.

Silt would be removed from the surplus courses of Ambattur, Korattur and Madhavaram tanks. Various watercourses that bring inflow or carry surplus from Velachery, Porur and Chembarambakkam lakes and Pallikaranai swamp would be cleaned of the waste.

The surplus courses linking several water bodies in southern suburbs, such as Keelkattalai, Nanmangalam, Sembakkam and Adambakkam would also be desilted.

Desilting of Otteri Nullah, North Buckingham canal and Virugambakkam canal will be taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

An official said that the watercourses along the Pallikaranai Thoraipakkam Radial Road and Medavakkam Sholinganallur Link Road would also be relieved of garbage. It is a challenging task to clean some of the heavily populated areas and near bridges and culverts. “We plan to use floats in difficult stretches as in central Buckingham canal,” the official said.

The silt dredged from the watercourses would be dumped at low-lying areas in the fringes of the city as it cannot be used for any purpose.

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