City to get ₹4,500 crore for flood mitigation works

The city is set to get ₹4,500 crore for development of stormwater drains and large underground drains as funding from multilateral funding agencies.

Work on development of stormwater drains in the Kovalam basin — in the southern part of Chennai — is set to begin with funding from German development bank KfW.

Underground drains

World Bank is also expected to give funds for the ₹3,000-crore project for flood mitigation in the State. “Over 70% of the project will be in Chennai and its suburbs. Flood-prone areas such as Tambaram, Guduvancherry and Urapakkam will get underground macrodrains to reduce flooding,” said an official. KfW has given in-principle approval for funding — estimated at ₹2,500 crore — of the project covering 600-km in the Kovalam basin. In addition to the 200 million Euro funds likely to be released from the German development bank, the State government will also fund the project.

Of the 1,600 sq km of Kovalam basin, 450 sq km is located in the Chennai Metropolitan Area. Stormwater drains in Kovalam basin will be funded by KfW, but the gigantic underground drains will be constructed with funding from the World Bank.

These large underground drains, more than six-metre wide, are expected to reduce land acquisition.

Owing to rising challenges in acquiring land in urbanised parts of Chennai and its suburbs, engineers designing flood mitigation projects have opted for a large number of large underground drains.

Desilting marsh

At a wrap-up meeting on the final feasibility study on Kovalam basin by KfW and Corporation officials this week, new proposals including microdrains in urbanised areas and desilting of the Pallikaranai marsh to mitigate flooding, were discussed.

“Desilting of the Pallikaranai marsh by three metres may reduce flooding in areas such as Madipakkam. The Forest Department has to make a decision on desilting the marsh. But officials are worried about loss of biodiversity in the marsh,” said an official.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 9:14:29 AM |

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