Civic body to redress concerns on stormwater drain scheme

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has decided to form local committees to redress the complaints of residents who are against the Integrated Storm Water Drainage (ISWD) scheme being executed in six divisions located along the East Coast Road (ECR).

The decision to have local committees, comprising assistant executive engineers and assistant engineers, was taken at a meeting organised by the civic body for members of residents welfare associations at Amma Maligai in the city on Thursday to clarify doubts and highlight the positive features of the ISWD project for preventing rainwater from flowing into the sea.

Residents and representatives from various associations and from the fishing community attended the two-hour-long meeting. They noted that officials had assured them of providing a detailed project report and holding further discussions on the project.

Chitra Rajan, resident of Akkarai, said, “Many residents pointed out that there were other civic amenities that needed to be given priority, such as better water supply and sewer network. The areas along the ECR do not need SWD as the sandy soil allows natural percolation of water. We have asked the civic body not to carry out the project without the consent of the residents.”

Residents also noted that the project would hinder groundwater recharge and was not necessary for localities along ECR, unlike other areas of the city. Ram Shankar, coordinator, Save Water and Recharge Aquifers Network, said several participants were not convinced about the project and insisted on dropping it. Even during the 2015 floods, areas along the ECR were not waterlogged. Recharge wells would help in better percolation.

A senior Corporation official said the local committees would take remedial measures for any complaints by the residents. Thousands of cubic metres of rainwater would be saved by creating percolating wells in sandy areas, which would prevent it from going to waste into the sea. He said more than 20 eco-block wells, 168 sunken wells and 2,000 percolation pits were proposed for the divisions covering Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai, Injambakkam, Sholinganallur and Uthandi.

The Kovalam basin project is being funded by KfW, the German development bank, and the detailed project report is being prepared by Kocks Consultants, he added.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 7:24:03 AM |

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