The Greater Chennai Corporation will procure additional robotic equipment to clear waterways and canals as part of flood management measures during northeast monsoon and improve mechanisation of operations.
The State government has given administrative sanction to procure two robotic excavators and one amphibian equipment to clear blocks in canals and waterways in Chennai. “The robotic excavator can cover 150 sq m an hour. The amphibian equipment can cover 300 sq m an hour,” said an official.
During the budget session for 2022-2023, Municipal Administration Minister K.N. Nehru announced that one amphibian equipment, two robotic excavators and eight mechanical sweeping machines would be procured. The civic body possesses two amphibian equipment to clean the canals and waterways having a width of more than 3.5 m and four robotic excavators for bigger waterways.
During floods last year, the robotic equipment were deployed to clear the waterways. “Considering the vast jurisdiction of the Corporation, there is a need for more equipment,” said an official.
The amphibian equipment will be procured at an estimated cost of ₹8 crore using the Swachh Bharat Mission Fund, with 35% from the Government of India, 55% from the State government and 10% from the local body.
The operation and maintenance of the equipment would be managed for five years by the Corporation. “The machine is imported and equipped with high-end technology. Technically competent personnel from the equipment supplier will operate and maintain it for five years,” said an official.
Robotic excavators are expected to be deployed to facilitate flow of water at the confluence of canals such as Mambalam canal with rivers such as the Adyar. A large quantity of debris dumped along waterways had blocked the flow last year.