Rs.633-crore component of drain improvement project cleared

Set for facelift: The Virugambakkam – Arumbakkam drain whose carrying capacity will increase under the JNNURM.

Set for facelift: The Virugambakkam – Arumbakkam drain whose carrying capacity will increase under the JNNURM.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S.S. Kumar

T. Ramakrishnan and Deepa H Ramakrishnan

PWD official says bids will be floated shortly; work is likely to begin by January

The project is being taken up under JNNURM

Corporation is responsible for the other component

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday cleared the Rs.633-crore component of the Water Resources Department (WRD)/Public Works Department (PWD) in the Rs.1,448-crore project of improvement of Chennai’s macro- and micro-drain system.

The project is being taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

A senior official of the PWD says bids will be shortly floated and the work is likely to begin by January.

Chennai Corporation is responsible for the other component of the project which is estimated to cost about Rs.815 crore. It has floated tenders for all 12 packages. According to a senior official of the Corporation, works for construction of stormwater drains, costing Rs.15 crore, have been taken up at critical points including those on Venkatnarayana Road and Usman Road in T.Nagar. The remaining works will be carried out from January.

The WRD component will broadly cover the aspect of strengthening and widening the Otteri Nullah, Virgumbakkam-Arumbakkam drain and Buckingham Canal . Also, flood flows into five tanks in and around the city — Maduravoyal, Porur, Ambattur, Kolathur and Velachery tanks — will be diverted upstream of the tanks by forming new canals.

The 10.8-km-long Otteri Nullah originates from somewhere near the Padi junction and falls into northern portion of the Buckingham Canal near Basin Bridge. The Virgumbakkam-Arumbakkam drain, which is 6.3 km long, runs from Nerkundram to the Cooum river near Nelson Manickam Road.

Apart from increasing the carrying capacity of these water courses, the authorities have proposed to create two closed canals, which will carry 450 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of rainwater. Pulianthope and Vyasarpadi, known for inundation during rainy season, will get relief.

As for the Buckingham Canal, the width of the canal in the northern portion will be widened from 30 metres to 40 metres in some stretches and 70 metres in some others. The northern portion of the canal runs from the Central station to Ennore Creek over 17 km. As for the 7.1-km-long central portion of the canal (from the Central station to Greenways Road near Adyar), the width will go up from 7.5 metres to 12 metres.

In respect of the southern portion of the canal from Kottupuram to Muttkadu (length:23.5 km), the canal will be 15-metre wide in the stretch up to Thiruvanmiyur; 40 metre-wide in the stretch up to Okkiyam Madavu and 120 metre wide in the stretch up to Muttukadu.

The WRD official says that apart from widening the southern portion of the Canal, the department has proposed to form a 2-km-long diversion canal from near Okkiyam Madavu to the sea. The canal will go via the VGP amusement park.

The proposed canal will absorb flood flows from the Pallikaranai swamp and eventually, this is expected to provide a solution to the problem of floods in Velachery.

Niranjan Mardi, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Secretary, made a presentation to the Chief Minister. M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister, K.S. Sripathi, Chief Secretary, K. Gnanadesikan and S. Ramasundaram, Principal Secretaries in charge of Finance and Public Works Departments, K. Deenabandu, Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister and Rajesh Lakhoni, Chennai Corporation Commissioner, were among those present.

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