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Clean-up of stormwater drains under way in Puducherry

Rajesh B. Nair
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monsoon preparedness: Silt being removed from a stormwater drain at Thengaithittu. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
monsoon preparedness: Silt being removed from a stormwater drain at Thengaithittu. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

If the undergoing clean-up operations of major stormwater drains and the Thengaithittu lagoon portion launched by the Public Works Department yields the desired results, residents can expect a hassle-free northeast monsoon this time.

The PWD has launched a massive effort to desilt the major stormwater drains and dredging of the lagoon portion. The desilting work began in March and the dredging work, last month, officials said.

The plan, according to senior officials in the department, was to desilt the drains and remove 50, 000 cubic metres of silt and another 60,000 cubic metres of sand from the lagoon portion.

Since the launch of desilting work, around 14,000 cubic metres of silt have been removed from the drains. The removed silt was transported to a vacant land near Muthirapalyam, around 10 km from the town, the official said, adding that efforts would be made to clean up all major drains before onset of the monsoon.

Though the department had carried out similar operations on earlier occasions before the onset of the northeast monsoon, the nature of work this time was different. In the past, only floating objects were removed to ensure free flow of stormwater into the sea, the ongoing work was to remove the accumulated waste and thereby increase the capacity of drains to carry more rainwater to the sea, the official said.

Officials said that flooding would be considerably less this time as the lagoon was not dredged for more than 15 years. “We are dredging the area to provide minus-two-metre depth in the lagoon area from the mean sea level. We hope to complete the cleaning work by end of September,” the official said. The entire work is executed at a cost of Rs. 1.28 crore, the official added.

Meanwhile, the National Consultancy for Planning and Engineering, Hyderabad, has submitted to the territorial administration a draft of the detailed project report for taking up improvement of major stormwater drains and waterbodies. The NCPE had been appointed by the government to prepare a detailed project report to carry out the improvement work under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The work proposed to be taken up under the project includes improvement of Grand Canal, Rainbow Nagar drain, Uppar drain from Sithenkudi up to confluence point in the town, Point Care canal, Krishna Nagar canal, Petit canal, Ellaipillaichavady drain from Vivekanda Nagar up to Puducherry Housing Board office and Karuvadikuppam drain from Venus Theatre to Ambika Theatre bridge.

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