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Improvement work on city drains delayed

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New look soon: One of the city’s waterways that await improvement.
New look soon: One of the city’s waterways that await improvement.

K. Lakshmi and Deepa H. Ramakrishnan

PWD yet to get administrative sanction from government

CHENNAI: The improvement work on the city’s drains has been delayed as the Public Works Department (PWD) is yet to get administrative sanction from the State government. Its collaborator, the Chennai Corporation, however, has called for tenders.

Officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) wing of the PWD said the deadline for the execution of the project had been pushed to early next year as the State government earlier suggested changes in the detailed project report submitted by the department.

The Government Order sanctioning the project is likely to be received in a few days and the tenders would be floated soon, they said. The project would be taken up along with the Corporation using Central government assistance under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Another reason cited for the delay was the problems in mobilisation of the loan component of the project cost. While the Central and State governments would provide 50 per cent of the cost as grant, the PWD would have to chip in for the remaining 50 per cent along with the civic body, officials said.

Under the project, being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.1,447.91 crore, the PWD’s share is nearly Rs.640 crore for improvement works of macro-canals.

Conceived with the aim of preventing flooding in the Chennai Metropolitan area, the project seeks to integrate stormwater drains with waterways. The work would be taken up after dividing the city into north, central, east and south basins. There will be improvement in the drainage of flood-prone areas such as Velachery, Kolathur, Vyasarpadi, T.Nagar and Kodungaiyur. The project would be completed in three years.

There was a mandatory halt in the project during the Lok Sabha elections. Post elections, the Chennai Corporation floated tenders for seven of the total 12 packages to construct and strengthen stormwater drains under the JNNURM at an estimated cost of Rs.812.15 crore.

According to a senior official of the Corporation, the bids for three more packages would be called in a week’s time. The bids would be opened in October and work orders issued thereafter. During the pre-bid meetings held for various packages, the civic body received good response from firms.

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