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Tiruvottiyur submerged for 24 hours

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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Following Tuesday’s thunderstorm, the Chennai Corporation carried out a survey of neighbourhoods to assess how equipped they were to deal with water-logging.

A total of 242 areas were found inundated across the 426 sq. km of the city.

Factors that went into the appraisal included time taken for water to recede from inundated roads and streets, machinery engaged, number of labourers enlisted for the mop-up operation and time taken to respond to complaints from residents.

The exercise threw up wildly varying figures. They, however, seemed to confirm established notions about these localities. For instance, the maximum time taken for water to drain in Tiruvottiyur was 24 hours. In stark contrast, the maximum time recorded in Mylapore was just one hour.

According to the Corporation report, many areas near the Tollgate and the Enfield Company in Tiruvottiyur retained huge puddles for around 24 hours. Among reasons given for this are incomplete road and stormwater drain projects, as well as inadequate labourers and machinery.

In many of the high-end neighbourhoods, intensive labour combined with a raft of machinery helped clear up the water in very little time. In most areas on College Road, Nungambakkam, for instance water was drained in 45 minutes. On Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai and Kamaraj Salai, which is part of the route taken by the Chief Minister’s convoy, it took just 30 minutes.

However, other areas were left inundated for several hours, mostly due to poor approach roads and lack of machinery. In Bethel Nagar, an ill-planned and violation-heavy locality in Injambakkam, stagnant rainwater was disposed of in an arduous eight-hour effort that involved earthen-drain formation.

Padi Kuppam and Golden George Nagar also posed a huge challenge to the clean-up team, as their approach roads were barely accessible. The time taken to drain these areas ranged from four to six hours.

The extended areas fared better thanks to their vacant spaces and water bodies, where water could be diverted.

It was just a 30-minute job for Corporation workers in Thulakanathamman Koil Street in Ambattur, which is located near Thangal Eri.

In Kolathur, where 13.58 km of stormwater drains have been completed under the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, it took Corporation workers around four hours to clear water. Areas drained included Sivasakthi Nagar, Kadappa Road, Kumaran Nagar Extension, Vivekananda Nagar Main Road, GKM Colony, Surapattu, Puthagaram, Padmavathi Nagar, Teachers Colony, Gandhi Nagar, Kamban Nagar, VPC Nagar and Sakthivel Nagar.

Residents said this indicated more work needed to be done on existing drains and new ones have to be built.

Corporation officials said they are likely to use this data to take remedial measures ahead of the onset of the northeast monsoon.

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