Staff Reporter

Comprehensive stormwater drain network planned

“Complaints from the public will be recorded; engineers will follow up”

Chennai: The Chennai Corporation is yet to complete desilting of stormwater drains and small waterways in the city although the monsoon is to set in soon.

Mayor M. Subramanian on Tuesday said that the desilting of minor waterways including the Captain Cotton Canal was under way. The Public Works Department is taking up the desilting of five major waterways including the Cooum and Adyar rivers.

The city has stormwater drains of about 950 km, about 100 km of which have been constructed in the last two years. The remaining 850 km are older drains that need to be regularly desilted. The civic body has completed desilting about 500 km, the Mayor said.

The Mayor stated that the stormwater drains constructed in the last two years served inundation-prone areas such as Virugambakkam, Kolathur and Velachery. The drains were built at the cost of Rs.51 crore. Construction of nine km of drains at the cost of Rs. 10 crore was in progress, he said. In Velachery, the stormwater drain network was almost completed except for a few links such as those in TANSI Nagar.

The roads would be repaired after the work was completed.

The Corporation has about 80 motor pumps to drain stagnant water in low-level areas and 15 heavy duty motors to pump out water from subways.

Early to work

The Mayor and the Corporation Commissioner also conducted a meeting with officials and engineers to discuss emergency response measures in the case of floods. Junior engineers, assistant engineers and assistant executive engineers in the 10 zones have been directed to be on duty from 6 a.m. for the next two months and not take leave.

Complaints and appeals from the public would be recorded and the engineers would be asked to follow up with remedial action, the Mayor said.

The Mayor said the Corporation had drawn up a proposal for a comprehensive stormwater drain network to tackle inundation in the city. The proposal for the project, costing about Rs.1,500 crore, would be implemented with funds from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission if the Central government approved it, he said.