Corporation advised to devise long-term plan to prevent inundation

CHENNAI NOV. 9. The Chennai Corporation has been advised to devise a long-term plan to prevent inundation in areas falling under its jurisdiction.

For attending to the flooding problem immediately, the civic body along with the Highways department should examine all bus route roads in the city and take action for filling potholes. The floating of bids for road maintenance and original works should be completed by November 12 and the execution should begin by the end of this month after the rain stopped.

The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, on Friday to discuss relief works to be carried out in city in the wake of the heavy rains, said an official release.

Maintenance works to the tune of Rs. five crores on the city roads recently taken over by the Highways department should begin immediately. A sum of Rs. 29 crores would be granted by the Tamilnadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation for permanent improvement works on all the roads transferred to the Highways department and work should commence from December 1.

The Corporation should direct private telecom majors to complete road-filling works within a specified time-frame as these companies had not carried out the repairs properly. The Police and the civic body would work together to ease congestion at intersection of roads.

Pointing out that the MRTS-related works were responsible for choking the flow of water on Buckingham Canal, the release stated that the Southern Railway should clear debris dumped on the waterway particularly between Beach and Triplicane. Besides, to ensure that a similar problem did not occur in the stretch between Triplicane and Velachery, the Chief Secretary would talk to the General Manager of the Railways to expedite necessary action. A survey should be undertaken to assess areas where the problem of water logging was acute, and action taken to clear water stagnation, particularly desilting of storm water-carrying channels. In this regard, the execution of a project, estimated to cost Rs. 13 crores with the TUFIDCO assistance, should be speeded up.

Due to encroachment on certain roads, the vehicular movement got disrupted frequently. So, the Corporation, apart from removing it immediately, should prepare an action plan on such obstructions and apprise the Chief Minister at the weekly review meetings. The Traffic Police wing would have to see to it that there was a smooth movement of vehicles.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, more than 1,000 persons, evacuated from various low-lying areas, found refuge in Corporation schools, which remained closed today. According to sources, hundreds of families were taken to nearby schools from Moorthinga Street in south Vyasarpadi, Asoodin Khan Bahadur Street in Triplicane, Rajarathinam Nagar in Kodungaiyur, South Jaganathan Nagar in Villivakkam and Kakanji Nagar in Virugambakam.

The Local Administration Minister, M.C. Sampath, and the Deputy Mayor, `Karate' R.Thiagarajan, undertook inspection of inundated areas at T.Nagar, Egmore, Thousand Lights, Korrukupet, Tondiarpet and several interior parts of north Chennai. More than two lakh food packets were distributed to the people dislodged by rains.

The civic agency also set up an emergency control room at Ripon Buildings, where officials of the PWD, the Slum Board and the Metrowater, would also be present. The control room would start functioning tomorrow. The Corporation Commissioner, M.Kalaivanan, would act as the head of the Flood Relief Committee.

The Chennai Corporation, in a press statement, requested the public to avail of free medical service in their clinics and health posts. The people could also contact the civic agency's 24-hour medical contingency team by phone on 538 4530 and 538 4670.

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