Vulnerable portions of waterways in Chennai to be cleared ahead of northeast monsoon

Water Resources Department proposes to desilt Buckingham Canal ahead of the northeast monsoon as part of flood-mitigation measures.

Water Resources Department proposes to desilt Buckingham Canal ahead of the northeast monsoon as part of flood-mitigation measures. | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

This year, some of the vulnerable stretches of city’s waterways are likely to be desilted and cleared of vegetation and floating waste ahead of the northeast monsoon.

The Water Resources Department is awaiting the State government’s nod for its proposal to clear double the distance of waterways than what was done last year. The department had engaged over 60 machineries in various waterways running to 195 km last year. Various surplus courses, waterways and estuaries were cleared of vegetation and plastic waste at a cost of ₹7.8 crore till the end of the northeast monsoon.

Officials said that nearly 150 to 160 schemes have been proposed this year to include small channels carrying floodwater from residential areas to waterbodies.

For instance, earthen channels in areas around Manapakkam would be desilted or cleared to prevent water-logging. Flood-mitigation works are already being carried out in water courses around Porur lake and the efforts would improve their carrying capacity.

There are plans to dredge some vulnerable portions such as Otteri Nullah where silt accumulation is high. Dredgers would be deployed to clear the channel.

The mouths of major waterways, including the Adyar, the Cooum and Buckingham canal, would be desilted. This exercise would be carried out for six months instead of during monsoon time alone. However, the work would be taken up after obtaining coastal regulation zone clearance, the officials said.

Residents’ plea

Meanwhile, a section of residents wants the department to focus on channels created between various waterbodies too. S. Kumararaja, president, Annai Indira Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, said a small portion of the 2.5 km channel built to carry excess water from Velachery lake to Pallikaranai marshland had been left out.

Flood water spills over into Ram Nagar and Vijayanagar as the capacity of the canal is inadequate, particularly near the Velachery railway station. Such channels need to be desilted.

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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 8:55:57 pm |