Chennai

ECR residents’ collective terms SWD project tragic

Residents of streets off the East Coast Road have said that since their localities did not see water-logging during the recent Cyclone Nivar, they did not require the stormwater drain (SWD) network being built by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). The Corporation is constructing the network from Kottivakkam to Muttukadu.

“Most of our avenues are well-drained without any waterlogging except in a few low-lying areas. It is tragic that ₹300 crore is being spent on a project in an area which was fully drained on the morning of November 26, just after the cyclone crossed. This was after three days of heavy rain. However, wherever SWD structures were constructed, the structures are full of water two days later,” said Sushma Everelles of the Coalition against Storm Water Drains (COASWD) of ECR.

P. Suresh, an engineer and resident of Injambakkam, said that the southern aquifer from the Adyar estuary to Muttukadu was a natural underground storage space and during rainy season automatically the water percolates into it. The aquifer blocks sea water intrusion.

“By installing these drains, they are going to prevent the rainwater from getting into the aquifer, which will lead to its slow destruction. The northern aquifer in the Ennore belt has already been spoilt due to overdrawal for industries. There is salt water intrusion, which cannot be reversed,” he said.

‘Due diligence done’

Officials in the civic body said that not just the ECR but many other areas in the city did not face water stagnation during the cyclone. There were only 58 spots where water stagnation happened across the city and most of them had been resolved. “There was not much water stagnation since all the water drained into various channels and then into the Cooum and the Adyar rivers,” an official said.

Asked about the issue with the construction of SWD along streets off the East Coast Road, he said the water would not be let into the sea directly, but into the Buckingham Canal and into Kovalam.

“The work is being carried out after due study by the GCC and also by the external funding agency. Their teams have come here and understood the topography and did other studies before agreeing to fund the project,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 4:40:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ecr-residents-collective-terms-swd-project-tragic/article33203185.ece

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