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Improvement works on South Buckingham Canal to be over soon

K.Lakshmi
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Several flood-prone localities along Rajiv Gandhi Salai will benefit

Expeditious: Work in progress on Veerangal Odai, a surplus course, near the Velachery MRTS station on Tuesday.. — Photo: M. Karunakaran
Expeditious: Work in progress on Veerangal Odai, a surplus course, near the Velachery MRTS station on Tuesday.. — Photo: M. Karunakaran

: The ongoing improvement work on the stretch of South Buckingham Canal from Okkiyam Maduvu to Muttukadu and on Veerangal Odai, a surplus course, will get over in a few months. On completion, it is expected to provide a solution to many flood-prone localities along Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

The work, to deepen, desilt the canal bed and also construct retaining wall on the stretch of nearly 13 km, is in full swing, according to officials of the Water Resources Department. Areas, including Karapakkam and Mettukuppam, would benefit from the project, which is being implemented by the WRD with funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

An official of the department said that “nearly 50 per cent of the work worth Rs.78 crore has been finished. We want to complete the work on the Okkiyam Maduvu-Muttukadu stretch by August.”

The canal is being widened from the existing 20 metres to 100 metres. This would increase its carrying capacity from 1,500 cubic feet per second (cusecs) to 7,000 cusecs.

Land acquisition

The stretch of the canal receives nearly 12,000 cusecs of surplus water from the Velachery lake. Since the widening alone would not be enough to handle the volume of rainwater, the WRD is also acquiring land to create a short-cut channel from Okkiyam Maduvu to the sea. Measures are afoot to widen the bridge that links East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai, near Sholinganallur.

An official said the road along the stretch of South Buckingham canal, which is being extensively used for the project, would be blacktopped for the benefit of the public travelling from Sholinganallur to Muttukadu, a tourist attraction. Saplings would be planted along the 8-metre wide road, which would be open only for light motor vehicles.

Retaining wall

The four-km stretch of the canal between Kotturpuram and Thiruvanmiyur is also being improved and work is under way to construct retaining wall. The width of the canal would be increased from 20 metre to 40 metre.

As regards the work on the Veerangal Odai, the official said it was to prevent inundation of localities of Velachery and neighbouring areas. The channel, which carries rainwater from waterbodies in Adambakkam and Puzhuthivakkam, is being improved at a cost of Rs.23 crore to take in 665 cusecs.

The two-km stretch of the channel is being widened to 7.5 m on either side of the road, an official said.

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