Chennai Rains | Downpour affects office-goers

Waterlogged roads and subways pose difficulties to commuters; action has been taken to clear water stagnation from 83 locations, says MAWS Secretary

Updated - June 20, 2023 04:54 pm IST

Published - June 19, 2023 10:00 pm IST - CHENNAI

People walking on the median at Taramani in Chennai on Monday.

People walking on the median at Taramani in Chennai on Monday. | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

Heavy overnight downpour caused water stagnation in several parts of the city on Monday, June 19, 2023. While inundated roads ridden with potholes posed difficulties to commuters initially, rainwater began to recede in the later part of the day. 

In North Chennai, many traditionally flood-prone areas were largely unaffected. Stretches in Pulianthope, Pattalam, Choolai and Vyasarpadi were partially waterlogged. 

| Video Credit: R. Ragu, M. Karunakaran, M. Srinath, B. Velankanni Raj

An auto driver on Strahans Road, Pattalam, said usually waterlogging persisted for several hours but it quickly receded on Monday.

S. Sheik Abdul Rahaman, regional deputy commissioner (Central), GCC, attributed this to the newly-laid stormwater drain (SWD) network. He said new drains would be constructed on Dr. Ambedkar College Road from Strahans Road to Stephenson Road, and sumps with shutter would be built on Stephenson Road, Perambur Barracks Road, and New Farrance Road.

Residents of Mogappair noted that parts of second block, West Mogappair, remained waterlogged for many hours. S. Swaminathan of Mogappair said blocks in SWD led to slow draining of rainwater on roads and that it must be periodically desilted.

MAWS Secretary Shiv Das Meena visited Ripon Buildings on Monday and held meetings with flood monitoring officers. “Action has been taken to clear water stagnation from 83 locations. Pumps have been installed at 25 locations to bale out water. Over 260 pumps have been readied. A total of 48 complaints about uprooted trees have been received and 40 cleared,” he said. 

Waterlogged subways, CMRL work pose problems

Subways including ones in Pazhavanthangal, Ganeshapuram, in Vyasarpadi, and the area beneath Perambur flyover were inundated, affecting vehicular movement on the roads connected to these places. 

Bridge piling works at the ongoing flyover construction works at Ganeshapuram subway, which has always been a troublesome spot, damaged the existing drain network and compounded the issue. This was addressed immediately, said Mr. Rahaman. 

The subway under the Kathipara grade separator was flooded as chutes leading to the drains were blocked during Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) construction. Police personnel, GCC, and Tamil Nadu Disaster Response Force pumped rainwater from the subway and cleared the traffic in the evening.

Parts of Rajiv Gandhi Salai were flooded as chutes leading to SWDs had been blocked when service lanes were merged with the main carriageway for CMRL work. Sekar, an autorickshaw driver of Raju Nagar, said the road had been flooded for up to two feet from Perungudi to Kandanchavadi till about 10 a.m. Jawaharlal Nehru Salai near Aishwarya Kalyana Mandapam was waterlogged due to drain width being narrower downstream.

While areas in South Chennai were mostly free of inundation, residents of Shastri Nagar 4th Cross Street of Adyar complained of water stagnation as the stormwater drain was yet to be desilted and wanted it to be done before the monsoons.

Desilting work carried out 

Chennai Metrowater engaged 2,000 field workers and its fleet of desilting machines to clear stagnant rainwater in Santhome High Road, Banu Nagar West, Ambattur,  Royapettah, Valluvarkottam High Road, Little Mount and Triplicane High Road. Besides 480 desilting and jet rodding machines, Metrowater had also used 57 super sucker machines for clearing stagnant water and cleaning maintenance holes. 

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