City residents living along waterways may not need to fear impending floods as the Water Resources Department began to desilt them on Wednesday.

The project, estimated to cost ten government Rs. 3.62 crore and split into 58 packages, involves removal of floating garbage and debris and weeds and accumulated silt in waterways, running to a total distance of over 70 km, as part of monsoon preparedness work.

WRD officials said north Buckingham canal, Virugambakkam-Arumbakkam canal, the surplus course of Ambattur lake and Otteri Nullah, which are being improved with funds received from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, are first in line for cleaning.

Work would start in the other waterways, including Cooum and Adyar rivers, surplus channels of various water bodies in and around the city, including Velachery lake and Korattur lake, on Thursday.

A monitoring committee comprising WRD engineers has been formed to supervise this work, which has to be completed before the onset of the northeast monsoon. “We plan to complete the works by this month-end or by the first week of October to be ready for the northeast monsoon which brings the major share of annual rainfall for Chennai,” said an official.

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