Chennai

Chitlapakkam residents seek completion of SWD network

As expected by residents of southern Chitlapakkam, the recent North-East monsoon had led to consoderable flooding Pradeep & Karthik Avenue, Thirumagal Nagar and Nazeeb Avenue. There was knee-deep water at houses in Thirumagal Nagar Second Street.

The residents had pinned their hopes on the completion of an integrated drain network before the onset of this monsoon. The hope remained just a hope.

A macro drain, technically called “cut-and-cover”, is in place in Chitlapakkam. Its construction began in October 2018 and wast completed by November 2019. However, it is unable do its job as micro drains have not been interlinked.

Dayanand Krishnan, president, Pradeep & Karthik Avenue Association, says, “Chitlapakkam is surrounded by Selaiyur lake and Chitlapakkam lake on the upstream and Sembakkam lake in downstream. Every rainy season, southern Chitlapakkam gets flooded when surplus water from Selaiyur lake and Chitlapakkam lake overflow. Surplus water from Selaiyur lake would reach a parcel of open land at Sethunarayanan Street in Chitlapakkam, which consequently would result in the flooding of houses in southern Chitlapakkam. Likewise, surplus water from Chitlapakkam lake flows to Maraimalai Adigal Street, further flooding neighbourhoods in southern Chitlapakkam. In 2015, Chitlapakkam was under water for more than 10 days. Five feet of water entered houses. In 2017, a similar condition prevailed just for 10-cm rainfall and southern Chitlapakkam was under four feet of water for more than six days. This perennial issue was brought to the knowledge of the Chief Minister when he paid a visit to Chitlapakkam in 2017 and he gave his approval to facilitate a cut-and-cover drain network at a cost of Rs. 17.5 crore. Hence, Chitlapakkam Panchayat constructed a macro drain. The macro drain is from the open land in Sethunarayanan Street to the junction of Pamban Swamigal Street and Babu Street. From that spot, the Public Works Department (PWD) took up the work. It extended the drain from the junction to Sembakkam lake via Balaji Avenue. However, the construction of interlinking drains has not been taken up yet. There is a need to construct macro and micro drains that will be linked to the macro drain at three spots. First, macro drain from Selaiyur Lake surplus weir to the macro drain at Sethunarayanan Street. Next, a second macro drain from Chitlapakkam Lake surplus weir to the macro drain at Pamban Swamigal Salai. The third one, a micro drain from Nazeeb Avenue to the macro drain at Babu Street via Thirumagal Nagar Second Street and Kalyana Sundaram Street. Among the three sections that have been identified, work has been taken up only in one but is still incomplete. In October 2018, the work of constructing the micro drain from Nazeeb Avenue to Babu Street macro drain via Thirumagal Nagar Second Street and Kalyana Sundaram Street began. However, only 50 per cent of the work got completed. In other words, a drain has been built from Nazeeb Avenue to Thirumagal Nagar Second Street. But work on the remaining portion of the drain, that is from Thirumagal Nagar Second Street to Kalyana Sundaram Street, has not started yet.

For reasons unknown, the work has been put on hold. Besides, there is undue delay in commencing the construction on the other two sections. Hence, many streets were flooded during this rainy season as well.”

Residents are displeased because in spite of several representations to a vast array of authorities, the problem has not been addressed.

“The half-done drain work is disastrous. Every year, water keeps entering our houses. With respect to Thirumagal Nagar, the drain needs to be connected to the main cut-and-cover drain in Babu Street,” says N. Balu, secretary, Thirumagal Nagar Residents Association.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 5:13:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chitlapakkam-residents-seek-completion-of-swd-network/article33629241.ece

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