Boats ferry children to school on flooded roads in Iyyappanthangal and Moulivakkam

Flood mitigation measures were delayed for more than 5 years after the regularisation of unauthorised layouts by the previous AIADMK regime, say residents

November 11, 2022 12:36 am | Updated 12:36 am IST - CHENNAI

Many tanks were filled up to develop the layouts in the suburbs. 

Many tanks were filled up to develop the layouts in the suburbs.  | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

Residents have started using boats to ferry school children across flooded roads of Iyyappanthangal and Moulivakkam panchayats, both prominent suburbs of the city.

Over 5,000 families in areas such as Dhanalakshmi Nagar, Sai Nagar and Ponniamman Nagar, all of which fall under Kancheepuram district, have complained about persistent flooding of roads after the onset of the northeast monsoon this year.

G. Hariharan, a resident who uses his own boat to ferry school children across inundated areas in Dhanalakshmi Nagar, said many roads had water reaching three feet. His boat could accommodate eight persons at a time.

Residents said the area, which was previously developed as unauthorised layouts, had been regularised by the previous AIADMK regime. Many tanks were filled to develop the layouts. For example, the 1.5-acre Ponniammankoil tank was filled and developed into Ponniamman Nagar.

After the regularisation of unauthorised layouts on payment of a fee to condone the illegal development, flood mitigation infrastructure was delayed for more than five years, leading to various civic issues in the area, residents said.

When phoned for comments, Iyyappanthangal panchayat president Jemila Pandurangan’s husband answered the call and said the government had already sanctioned ₹120 crore for flood mitigation projects in the area. “Work will be completed shortly,” he said.

Many of the flood mitigation projects, including canals, drains and vents, have been taken up in the neighbourhoods. The civic issues caused by faulty construction of the Maduravoyal Bypass in the area have also been identified ahead of the implementation of the ₹120-crore projects, officials said.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) is in the final stages of completing projects, including cut and cover drains, which are worth more than ₹100 crore. “Over 90% of the work has been completed,” a WRD official said.

An official of the Kundrathur block in Kancheepuram district said the water level was expected to reduce after 6 p.m. on Thursday as the district administration had launched a few projects. “We are supplying water in the lorry to residents. We have barricaded the area to prevent accidents. Workers have been directed to take mosquito control measures and repair streetlights damaged in the floods,” the official said.

| Video Credit: M. Vedhan

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