Minister says that an estimate will be drawn up for construction of stormwater drains
A survey of the water-logged areas in and around the city will be conducted soon by Chennai Corporation. The civic body will draw up an estimate for construction of stormwater drains, Minister for Municipal Administration K.P.Munusamy said here on Thursday.
He inspected various inundated areas such as Koyambedu, Velachery and Virugambakkam, along with Information Minister G.Senthamizhan, Mayor Saidai S.Duraisamy and Chennai Corporation officials.
“I have asked officials to draw up plans to link drains to nearby channels. The cost of construction will not be an issue. Improvement to sewer network and stormwater drain is our priority. The Chief Minister has directed us to make Chennai a clean city,” Mr.Munusamy said.
Though there was not much showers on Thursday, the rainfall since Monday had affected several areas of the city, including Pulianthope, Perungudi, Velachery, Kolathur, and Koyambedu. On Thursday, motorists had a tough time negotiating the water-logged arterial roads such as Jawaharlal Nehru Salai near Koyambedu and Poonamallee High Road during morning rush hour.
Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 4 cm and 6 cm respectively during the 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Thursday.
The inundation of the localities also brought into sharp focus the ineffectiveness of the stormwater drains. Residents along Vivekananda Main Road, Kolathur, said that stormwater drain on the road connecting many residential colonies has been of little use. B.Roshini, a resident said “This is the only route to my home. It is difficult to ride on the slushy road, which was dug up for developmental work. Many lorries and auto rickshaws often get trapped in the slush.”
Residents of Nettukuppam, Ennore, complained that many children walking to schools in the flooded areas suffered from fungal infections on their feet. Joseph, a resident, said “Children studying in the government middle school have little choice than to walk on the road where sewage has mixed with rainwater.”
Traders at the Koyambedu wholesale market said that the vegetable sales were affected by nearly 40 per cent as the rains had worsened the condition of the approach roads. Customers refrained from visiting the market owing to water-logging and the unhygienic conditions in and around the market. The market also received fewer trucks from neighbouring States owing to rains.
Meanwhile, Chennai Collectorate has announced that residents may contact the 1077 toll free helpline with complaints of water-logging or other rain related problems. Those in need of help pertaining to coastal security may contact the helpline (1093), said a press release.
Water discharge likely from Red Hills
With the water level nearly touching the brim, one of the shutters of the Red Hills reservoir is likely to be opened on Friday. Red Hills is one of the four reservoirs from which drinking water supply is sourced for the city.
Officials of the Water Resources Department said it has been decided to discharge a minimum of 100 cubic feet per second from the reservoir on Friday. (One cusec is equal to 28.3 litres). “We open shutters when the water level reaches 49 feet. The maximum level is 50.20 ft. We allowed the level to touch 49.57 ft this time,” said an official.
On Thursday, the storage at the water body in Red Hills was 3,131 million cubic feet (mcft) against its capacity of 3,300 mcft.
More rains likely
Officials of the Meteorological Department said that the rainfall over the city and the suburbs may continue as a weak trough off east coast of Sri Lanka extends from Southeast Bay towards South Andhra Pradesh, officials of said.
A senior official of the department said Chennai has received nearly 18 cm of rainfall in the past four days since the onset of northeast monsoon. This has offset the deficiency in monthly rainfall at Meenambakkam. Nungambakkam has recorded 20 cm so far, which is 2 cm less than its average. This too is expected to become normal by the month end.
This spell of rainfall is expected to extend till November 2, during which the city and its suburbs may experience intermittent showers. “As the easterly wind is not strong yet, we can call it only moderate monsoon. The wind speed is only 10 knots now and it has to reach 70 knots for strong winds,” said an official. The department forecasts rain or thundershower would occur on Friday.