Corporation Commissioner D Karthikeyan said that the focus this year would be on Smart City projects as well as the ongoing storm water drain works. “Apart from the World Bank funds, talks are in an advanced stage with the Germany-based KFW Development Bank. There is a plan to expand the storm water drain network to Kovalam and Kosasthalaiyar basins. Once that is done, Chennai’s drainage system will be fully networked. Maintenance of the existing storm water drains also will be done. We hope to complete all these works before monsoon,” said the Commissioner. The revised estimate for 2016-2017 was Rs 540 crore, while the sum allocated this year is Rs 930 crore (World Bank Fund and TNUIFSL).
“There is no proper drainage system in many parts of ECR. The storm water drains are there till Uthandi. Neelankarai, which is older than Panaiyur, has been ignored while the latter has been provided with these facilities,” said D Sridharan, former secretary and executive committee member of Sri Kapaleeswarar Nagar Welfare Association in Neelankarai.
Social activist Jayaram Venkatesan said, “Storm water drains are not even constructed looking at the gradient of the roads. Moreover, the maintenance of storm water drains is not being done properly. A lot of money is swindled through these contracts. In our experience, we saw that some of these drains being desilted after a decade! It is hard to understand the government’s misplaced priorities,” said the Convenor of Arappor Iyakkam.