As flood mitigation project gains pace in the city, the Greater Chennai Corporation has sent a circular asking its officials to ensure that work on the stormwater drain conformed to the norms in the flood-prone areas of the city.
Setting September 30 as the deadline to complete work along the major stretches ahead of the northeast monsoon, Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi has instructed all zonal officers, executive engineers and all regional superintending engineers to take precaution. The assistant engineer, the assistant executive engineer and the executive engineer concerned would be held responsible for any water stagnation in the drain after the construction work was completed.
Some residents’ associations had demanded that the levels should be checked to ensure proper draining of stormwater in flooded areas. Stormwater drain running to a length of 1,033 km was being constructed at an estimated cost of ₹4,070 crore. Mr. Singh had been reviewing the progress of work every two days.
“Completion of the stormwater drain, especially in areas where there was flooding in the previous northeast monsoon, is of top most priority to the Corporation. The State Government has already sanctioned Singara Chennai Phase I and Phase II packages for construction of drains, which are predominantly in core city areas such as Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Pulianthope. In all these areas, the work orders were issued in April,” said Mr. Bedi.
“Instructions have been given to undertake the work from the final disposal point and go backwards. At present, work on about 50% to 60% of the roads has been undertaken. The Corporation is not insisting that all the roads be dug up at the same time to avoid inconvenience to the public,” said an official.
The Corporation has issued clear instructions to the contractors on two issues. One was that while digging, damage should not be caused to sewer lines or electrical cables. The Commissioner has repeatedly instructed deputy commissioners and engineers to put up barricades on all stretches that have been dug up, to ensure public safety. “Any lapse in barricading is taken up seriously with the contractors,” said an official.
Design of the drains taken up under Singara Chennai 2.0 has been vetted by IIT Madras. Work in areas like Kolathur has been taken up under the Kosasthalaiyar Basin project. Flood-prone areas such as Jawahar Nagar and GKM Colony would get better drains before September.
Over 30% of the work in the Kosasthalaiyar Basin in the city has been completed. In South Chennai, work has started in Madipakkam and Alandur. Work order for ₹150 crore has been issued under funding from KfW.
“Our focus is on completing as much work as possible before the northeast monsoon,” said an official.
Work on desilting of all drains will start next week. This year, the Corporation has earmarked ₹90 crore for desilting drains.