Water conservation Chennai

The only solution to the inundation problem?

Sai Baba Colony and Tarachand Nagar in Virugambakkam suffered inundation as a result of downpours in the first week of January. While some residents found their houses engulfed by water stagnating within the compound walls, there were others who had a bigger problem to deal with: water entering their rooms, sometimes mixed with overflowing sewage.

Inundation of this kind is a recurrent issue for residents, who believe that the solution to this problem lies in the construction of stormwater drains (SWDs) in Kaliamman Koil Street. For that to materialise, the street has to be widened first.

The two colonies are low-lying, points out Shakthivel Arumugam, secretary, Sai Baba Colony Residents Welfare Association and Jayanthi Bhatt, secretary, Tarachand Nagar Civic Association.

Hence, water from surrounding neighbourhoods flow into Sai Baba Colony and Tarachand Nagar.

“Sai Baba Colony does not have a dedicated stormwater drain. But there is a spot in our colony where SWDs of a few other localities are interlinked. But it is a clogged, which renders the drain ineffective and there is the resultant inundation of Sai Baba Colony,” says Shakthivel Arumugam.

Tarachand Nagar has a dedicated drain that carries water from other localities, but clogging is again the issue.

“Every year, during heavy monsoonal rains, our neighbourhood comes under knee-deep water. In spite of repeated representations to the Greater Chennai Corporation and elected representatives over the past many years, the issue remains unaddressed,” says Jayanthi Bhatt.

So, they are hoping that widening of Kaliamman Koil Street would bring about the required relief. Construction of stormwater drains is part of the road-widening project.

“The rainwater run-offs from Natesan Nagar, Sanjay Gandhi Nagar, Elango Nagar, Thangal Nagar, Surnambikai Nagar, and Dhanpath Raj Nagar flow through Sai Baba Colony and Tarachand Nagar. The existing route is circuitous and hence the low-lying localities like Sai Baba Colony and Tarachand Nagar bear the brunt of the problem. Hence, we want the Greater Chennai Corporation to expedite the Kaliamman Koil Street widening project. Besides easing vehicular traffic, a widened Kaliamman Koil Street would free surrounding localities of the problem of inundation, as stormwater drains would be constructed on both sides of the street. However, it has not happened until now due to issues relating to land acquisition. Of the 3.5-km-long Kaliamman Koil Street, only 1.5 km was widened four years ago. Following that, there has not been much progress. Once Kaliamman Koil Street gets SWDs, we can change the existing routes of stormwater drains in Virugambakkam. Each of the above-mentioned colonies can have an SWD directly connected to the SWD in Kaliamman Koil Street,” says, S.Arumainathan, president, Virugambakkam Residents Welfare Association

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 7:20:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/the-only-solution-to-the-inundation-problem/article33664937.ece

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