While the Chennai Corporation is bracing its civic infrastructure up for the northeast monsoon, expected to set in this week, the canals and drains still remain clogged, making the city’s monsoon-preparedness anything but thoroughgoing.
Considering this is an El Nino year, which is expected to bring heavy downpours, cyclones and floods, this laxity can prove costly.
According to estimates, stretches along more than 30 percent of the city’s drains, which together account for 1,700 km, are vulnerable to flooding. After the ban on manual cleaning of polluted drains early this year, the Corporation proposed mechanical desilting of stormwater drains. However, desilting work at a number of drains is yet to be completed, due to the delay in commencement of desiltng operations ahead of the northeast monsoon.
“We have received a flood warning,” said an official of Chennai Corporation. The Corporation claims that as part of monsoon-preparedness, it has completed work on 18 canals in addition to the work by the Water Resources Department in the major waterways of the city. However, there are still many bottlenecks in these canals, which hinder free flow of water and are expected to make life miserable for residents.
The delay in completing the drain work on Velachery-Taramani Road near Vijayanagar Bus Stand is expected to cause flooding in a few areas of Velachery.
. Residents along stretches such as Bazulla Road have complained about water stagnation near the Rangarajapuram Flyover, stating that it hinders free flow of traffic. The Corporation is yet to complete work on clearing stormwater drains for such stretches.
Zonal level officials of many such low-lying areas have requested for super sucker machines to tackle any flooding that may arise after the monsoon sets in this year.
Ten per cent of Kodungaiyur canal is yet to be completed. Six metres of work along the 1.8-km long Guindy Industrial Canal has not been completed due to 42 encroachments.
Water disposal in the Adyar river is likely to be affected. Even after completion of Nungambakkam Canal, frequents blocks have been reported resulting in inadequate draining of stormwater along Valluvar Kottam High Road. MTH Road may be affected due to the absence of stormwater drains. Work is expected to start with World Bank funding shortly, said an official.