Velumani pointed out that after the Chennai flood in 2015, the state government had taken initiatives to ensure that the city was better equipped to handle the monsoon season.
Despite these measures, the city faced waterlogging in many places, mostly because of faults in drainage systems or failure in the equipment/ generators.
While the civic body claimed to have spent an additional Rs. 54 crore for storm water drain works, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had earlier shown that topographical, meteorological or hydrological study, essential for the construction of SWDs, were not available.
“Earlier, there were 1,490 locations in the city which faced severe water logging, which would take 15 days to clear.
Now, there are less than a hundred areas where there is waterlogging and in 13 places, the inundation is severe. GN Chetty Road was always prone to waterlogging but now, that is not the case. We have appointed one IAS officer for each of the city’s 15 zones and have formed inter-departmental teams at the ward level for better coordination. Chennai has fared better after rains, when compared to cities like Bengaluru and even those such as London and in the US,” said the minister, adding that comparisons between 2015 floods shouldn’t be made.
According to Velumani, three robotic excavators were imported from Switzerland and desilting and removal of water hyacinth has been done. From Buckingham Canal, Velachery Lake, Captain
Cotton Canal and B Canal, 4388.33 metric tonnes of silt and water hyacinth was removed while in the 20 small and major canals, 5453.95 metric tonnes of silt and water hyacinth was removed. Drainage system works were being allocated for Rs 1500 crore, of which 75% has been completed.