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Monsoon-ready: Corporation to begin desilting of storm water drains in August
The Greater Chennai Corporation is planning a massive maintenance drive of the city’s existing network of storm water drains in August to make it monsoon-ready.
Speaking to DTNext, a senior Corporation official said that while regular maintenance of the existing storm water drains is being carried out by the respective zonal offices, a massive drive will be held in August this year.
“The tender for the desilting of storm water drain works will be put out soon,” added the official. The Corporation maintains a storm water drain network which is 1,894 km long and with 7,351 storm water drain structures.
The civic body is also planning on integrating the existing storm water drain network with the neighbourhood waterbodies. Last year, the Corporation had tendered out the desilting works to a contractor to clean these drains manually – but only after the workers were provided with protective gear.
The city’s storm water drains came under the scanner after the 2015 floods, where lack of desilting and maintenance over the years, resulted in massive inundations across the city.
Taking the Corporation to task, CAG’s recent report revealed that pre-monsoon cleaning of SWDs was not done in 163 out of 614 streets with drains in Kodambakkam between 2013-16, while all 898 streets with drains in Perungudi zone between 2015-16 were not desilted.
CAG also pointed out that Corporation failed to prevent sewage from entering these drains due to lack of maintenance. Meanwhile, the report also added that discrepancies in design and insufficient coverage of storm water drains have compromised the city’s flood-proofing mechanisms.
The Corporation had proposed a network of storm water drains in Kosasthalaiyar Basin, Cooum and Adyar basin and Kovalam basin for a length of 1,069.40 km at a project cost of Rs 4,034.30 crores. While Cooum and Adyar basin is almost complete, the work hasn’t even begun in the other two basins.
Meanwhile, residents hope that the Corporation get the drains desilted before the monsoons.
Priyadarshini S, an employee at an IT firm and resident of T-Nagar, said, “Despite storm water drains in our locality, there is still inundation because most of the drains are not properly cleaned or linked. We hope that the Corporation gets these drains functional before the monsoons,” she said.