The Greater Chennai Corporation has resumed the civil works of pending Smart City Mission projects with skeletal workers. More than 20 projects that are being implemented in the city using smart city funds were stopped after the lockdown was imposed.
"We have already completed 18 smart city projects at a cost of Rs 130.94 crore. After the COVID-19 lockdown, as many as 20 projects at Rs 589.65 crore was stopped. Among the major smart city projects we have resumed, restoration of 63 water bodies is an important one," a Chennai Corporation official said.
Of the 63 water bodies, restoration works of 35 water bodies are already complete. As many as 186 workers are employed to start restoring 28 remaining water bodies. As most of the workers from north Indian States are returning, the official said that some of the contractors managed to hold back a certain number of workers by providing food and shelter.
Meanwhile, the civic body has asked the contractor to complete the civil work of multi-level car parking T Nagar. The project was stalled as some equipment have to come from China. "We will keep the building ready and whenever the equipment arrives, we will install them, another official said.
Apart from the Smart City Mission projects, the civic body also has resumed road works. The civic body had issued the work order to contractors to start relaying of 174 bus route roads and 62 pedestrian pavements in January. After the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, milling of road works started in Kodambakkam, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Tondiarpet, Kodambakkam and Ambattur zones, with 88 workers. Also, 67 workers have been engaged in pedestrian plaza projects in eight locations including Tondiarpet and Adyar.
In January, the civic body had started relaying of 823 interior roads, under Chennai Mega City Development Mission, at a cost of Rs 95.21 crore and completed works on 93 interior roads before the outbreak. "Now, we have started pending works on 362 interior roads with 99 workers. Storm water drains works have also been started in 15 locations, under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission, and 174 workers are employed," the official added.
Storm water drain works in 18 locations have been started with 215 workers under the Smart City Mission.