When DT Next traced the storm water drains in T Nagar, a concrete pillar of the under-construction Skywalk project was seen obstructing the flow of water in the storm water drain at the Usman Road-Madley Road junction.
“The Corporation damaged the storm water drain while constructing the Skywalk despite opposition from shop owners. Due to the pillar, rainwater flowing from Usman Road, Ranganathan Street and other nearby streets is blocked,” a shop owner, on condition of anonymity, said. He added that unlike previous years, rainwater mixed with sewage was seen flowing above the pedestrian pavement due to the obstruction caused by the pillar.
When asked, a Chennai Corporation engineer said that the move to build a pillar over SWD was intentional. “It is cost effective and easier to reconstruct storm water drain but modifying the design of the pavement would be dangerous. We plan to construct a new drain at the spot by bypassing the pillar,” the engineer said.
Under the Smart City Mission, the Corporation has taken up the skywalk project at a cost of Rs 30.35 crore connecting Railway Border Road and Madley Road covering 600 metres. Even while the residents opposed the Skywalk, the civic body went ahead with the project damaging several storm drains in Madley Road as well as surrounding areas.