Work on many roads yet to be taken up; deadlines extended for networks on many stretches

The wait for a better stormwater drain network in the city is likely to get longer for many residents.

Even though a number of stretches in the JNNURM-funded stormwater drain network has been completed, work on many roads is yet to be taken up. The civic body had recently extended the deadline for completion of the work, citing reasons such as the monsoon, sand scarcity, traffic restrictions by police and hindrance caused by shifting of utilities.

Works on watersheds such as Virugambakkam, Arumbakkam, North Buckingham Canal, Royapuram, Captain Cotton Canal and Velachery have been among those extended recently. Extension of the deadline for many of the other watersheds was granted a few months ago. Work has resumed on some stretches after the monsoon, but residents of many areas are yet to be relieved of the hardship caused by the delay.

“One side of School Road in Thirumangalam was dug up a year ago for stormwater drain work. The work remains incomplete and the pit is filled with dirty water. Pedestrians and motorists are getting injured during the nights because of the incomplete work,” said D. Venkatesan, a resident of the locality.

The work in Virugambakkam and Arumbakkam watersheds were proposed to be completed on November 1, 2012. The deadline was earlier extended to January 1, 2013 due to the delay caused by the monsoon.

Now, the civic body has again extended the deadline by six months to July 1, 2013. The contractor has also been exempted from liquidated damages till January 1, 2013. The civic body has said that a delay of ten months was caused by the monsoon and elections.

“We suffered inundation during the recent rains even after some works were completed. Residents want work to be taken up during the months of January to May. This is the right time to speed up the work. But the civic body does not reveal the status of the work to residents. We have requested the Corporation to speed up stormwater drain works. We do not know what is happening,” said P. Chandramohan, a resident of Arumbakkam.

K. Paranthaman, another resident, said that work on many roads in Velachery remain incomplete. “Kanchi ITI Road in Tansi Nagar is one example of delayed work that has been under way for more than six months,” he said.

All stormwater drain work in Velachery was expected to be completed on April 25, 2012. The deadline was extended to October 25, 2012, earlier. The civic body has again extended the deadline to March 25, 2013.

The work in North Buckingham Canal was expected to be completed on January 7, 2013. The deadline has been extended to July 6, 2013. Work in Royapuram is expected to be completed in June 15, 2013.

The city has 2870 km of roads. But only 944 km of them have stormwater drains.

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