According to L Nandakumar, Chennai Corporation Chief General (general), recycler vehicles have been procured from a Pune-based firm at a cost of around Rs 4 lakh each. The civic body has started desilting storm water drains and waterbodies around 10 days ago.
“Of the seven new machines, six machines are procured under Swachh Bharat Mission fund and one machine has been procured under state disaster relief fund (SDRF),” he said.
Explaining the function of the recycler, Nandakumar explained that the machine is like a tanker lorry, which would suck out the silt from stormwater drains and separate water and silt by applying pressure. The separated water would be sent again inside the drains with high pressure to clean the drains.
It may be noted that the civic body was trying to procure such machines from 2016 but could not find one that is suitable for the conditions of Chennai. Presently, three recyclers are in use and the other four machines are getting assembled in the city.
“We need at least 40 recylcers to clean our drains. So, we have asked for funds from the World Bank. Also, we have approached the German Development Bank (KfW) to provide funds for recyclers as they are funding a new stormwater drain project in Kovalam Basin. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has consented to provide funds for 10 recyclers in Kosasthalaiyar Basin, where new drains will come up with the ADB funds,” Nandakumar added.
Meanwhile, the civic body has deployed 5 robotic excavators, 2 amphibian vehicles and 3 new mini-amphibian vehicles for the monsoon preparedness works. The civic body has decided to desilt stormwater drains on bus route roads before going to interior roads.
“We have also decentralized the desilting of stormwater drains and the regional deputy commissioners can call for tenders. The headquarters has allocated Rs. 5 Crore each to the three regions,” he said.