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Flood mitigation project launched

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Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi launching a massive flood mitigation project in Chennai on Saturday.
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi launching a massive flood mitigation project in Chennai on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

New drainage systems to be built in four basins in Chennai city

Chennai: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday launched a massive flood mitigation project for the city, involving construction of new micro and macro drainage systems in four basins and making improvements to existing drainage, at a cost of Rs.1,447 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Briefing the Chief Minister on the project, Public Works Department (PWD) Principal Secretary S. Ramasundaram said the Chennai Corporation would improve the city's drainage at a cost of Rs.815 crore and the PWD's ten schemes would cost Rs.633 crore. The Corporation had already started work.

He said the PWD had finalised tenders for seven schemes costing Rs.533 crore. These works would begin in June and be completed in two years. As land acquisition would take a minimum of one year for the three remaining schemes costing Rs.100 crore, they could take three years for completion as the government was keen on resettling the encroachers before evicting them.

Apart from spending Rs.304 crore on improvement works in Buckingham Canal, the PWD would construct a connecting canal between Otteri Nullah and the Cooum river at a cost of Rs.9.87 crore. Another connecting canal would be built at a cost of Rs.25 crore to divert surplus water from Virugambakkam and Arumbakkam canals into the Cooum.

PWD would spend Rs.58 crore to take surplus water from the Velachery lake to South Buckingham canal and another Rs.53 crore for a new canal to divert flood water from Okkiyam Maduto the Bay of Bengal.

Improvement works to divert surplus water would be taken up at Ambattur, Porur and Maduravoyal lakes at a cost of Rs.62 crore. The Otteri Nullah would be desilted and strengthened at a cost of Rs.33 crore. Virugambakkam and Arumbakkam canals would be widened and strengthened at a cost of Rs.40.83 crore, stated an official release.

As north-east monsoon inundates low-lying areas, causing inconvenience to the public, damages to infrastructure and loss of lives, the government spends crores of rupees on compensation and rehabilitation. This prompted the Corporation to prepare the comprehensive master plan.

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