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Government plans to upgrade drainage canals in Puducherry

C. Jaisankar
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Rs. 100-crore plan for cement lining of five major canals

Funding for the project to line the five major open drainage canals in Puducherry will come from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
Funding for the project to line the five major open drainage canals in Puducherry will come from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

In an effort to minimise environmental and public health issues, the Puducherry government will take up cement lining of all five major drainage canals in Puducherry through funding from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM).

Open drainage canals such as Gorimedu, Karuvadikuppam, Mettu vaikkal, Pallavaikal and Uppar have been chosen for the project. The canals, which were once used for carrying water for irrigation, are now being used as drainage system due to rapid urbanisation and increase in municipal sewage generated in the town.

After receiving complaints from public about clogging in the canals at specific points due to indiscriminate dumping of garbage, P.R. Meena, Secretary, Public Works Department, visited those points along the canals to know the efficiency of the drainage system.

After inspection, Mr. Meena told The-Hindu that clogging was primarily due to dumping of garbage, plastics and bottles. The earthen nature of canals was another reason for slow movement of sewage.

Therefore, the government has decided to take up cement lining of all five canals wherein the bottom and sides would be covered with cement concrete along their entire stretch to felicitate free flow of municipal sewage.

With the cost for the project estimated to be around Rs. 100 crore, the government has decided to implement the scheme under JNNURM. PWD officials have been asked to prepare a proposal to seek Central funding under JNNURM to take up the project, Mr. Meena said.

S. Manohar, Chief Engineer, PWD, said a Detailed Project Report has already been prepared for cement lining of Karuvadikuppam canal – the longest canal at about 15 km. This stretch alone would cost around Rs.11.15 crore, he said.

On completion, the project would enable uninterrupted flow of sewage. “It is easy to repair and maintain the concrete layered canals,” he noted.

Asked about the clogging of canals in different areas, Mr. Meena said unmindful dumping of garbage by public was the primary reason. “It is the duty of municipalities to clear the garbage. They should take effective steps to prevent people from dumping waste directly into canals.

Notices had been served to the municipalities to speed up and strengthen the process of garbage clearing mechanism,” he said.

A massive excise of desilting of all canals had been undertaken in Puducherry. This was part of preparatory steps to prevent flooding during the monsoons in Puducherry.

The PWD had been instructed to speed up the work and it would be completed in a month, he said.

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