Monsoon preparatory work over, but civic infrastructure awaits test

Trees uprooted by cyclone Vardah at Vandalur zoo in Chennai. File photo

Trees uprooted by cyclone Vardah at Vandalur zoo in Chennai. File photo   | Photo Credit: G. Krishnaswamy


With better flood preventive measures in place, officials are confident that disasters, such as the ones the city witnessed in 2015 and 2016, won’t recur

The twin events of the December 2015 deluge and the Vardah cyclone in the following year exposed the severe shortcomings of the city’s civic and power infrastructures.

Strikingly, the crises exposed the government’s inability to take appropriate preventive action. Here’s looking at the role of the various civic agencies involved in making sure the city is ready to face the monsoons this year — developing civic infrastructure facilities of stormwater drains, macro canals, desilting of water bodies, replacement of damaged poles and pruning of trees.

Monsoon preparatory work over, but civic infrastructure awaits test

Though the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) has been a ‘failure’ over successive years in Tamil Nadu, the Chennai Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) have been taking slow and steady steps to improve the facilities. While the city infrastructure is yet to be tested fully as there have been not much heavy rains this year so far, the civic agencies have taken several pre-monsoon measures to avert flooding.

Stormwater drains

The Chennai Corporation is almost on the verge of completing the stormwater drain network in various flood affected areas under Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur and Perungudi zones, officials claimed. Work comprising stormwater drains, retaining wall, macro canals, have been completed in four zones covering Ambattur Sidco Estate, Sidco Nagar in Villivakkam, Mogappair, Valasaravakkam, Virugambakkam, Porur, Moulivakkam, Alandur, Nanganallur, Perungudi and Taramani.

A senior official of the civic body said more than 170 kilometres of stormwater drains had been constructed under three schemes of Chennai Mega City Development Mission (120 km), macro canals under Tamil Nadu Urban Road Infrastructure Fund (TURIF) and Smart City (45 km). All the works were completed at a cost of ₹445 crore.

As a flood preventive measure, the Corporation has issued circulars to utility agencies — including Metrowater and Tangedco — banning road cuts from October 1, as the indiscriminate damage to roads by these utility agencies resulted in water stagnation and accidents.

Under the pre-monsoon preparatory works, the civic body has de-silted stormwater drains by replacing broken manhole covers, cleaning of the chute pipes, and removal and dumping of the silt in all the 15 zones.

The civic official said desilting work has been systematically carried out in Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Madhavaram, Anna Nagar, Arumbakkam, T. Nagar, Mylapore and Velachery.

Wired up and ready

As part of its pre-monsoon preparatory work, the Tangedco has directed its officials to inspect the three types of power lines over the city, carry out any rectification work, prune tree branches where overhead power lines are located particularly in southern and western parts of the city, increase the height of pillar boxes, complete replacement of damaged and old poles, and strengthening of electricity distribution network.

The electricity official said as part of monsoon preparatory works old conductors for a length of 11,862 km have been identified and replaced, more than 10,000 damaged poles replaced, low sagging lines in more than 50,000 locations identified and tightened. In addition to this, 13,000 pillar boxes all over Chennai have been raised to prevent water ingress.

Sharing details of the daily progress report, a senior official in south Chennai said 1,665 damaged poles had been replaced, new poles installed in 200 places, new conductors installed for a length of 50 kms, exposed cables protected with concrete in 750 locations, 600 pillar boxes repaired and heightened, and trees pruned in 12,000 locations.

All the above works were carried out in sections covering Adyar, Guindy, Tambaram, Tiruvanmiyur, Sholinganallur, Medavakkam and Pallavaram.

Based on the past experience from natural calamities, the Tangedco has also formed special teams in the city and the State with the main job of the team to mobilise vehicles, tools, and materials to rush to the affected place for taking up rectification works.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 5:39:55 AM |

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