GCC’s next: Sponge parks to fight urban flooding

A Chennai Corporation senior engineer said the project was announced in the State Assembly recently.
Graphic: Varghese Kallada
Graphic: Varghese Kallada

CHENNAI: The metropolis will soon get 150 new parks, including sponge parks to recharge groundwater, and 50 playfields as the Greater Chennai Corporation has prepared detailed project reports (DPR) to implement the project at Rs 100 crore under Singara Chennai 2.0.

A Chennai Corporation senior engineer said the project was announced in the State Assembly recently. “We have identified as many as 126 open space reserve (OSR) land across the city that are to be developed. The parks will come up on the OSR land and remaining parks will be created in other available vacant plots. Each of the 150 parks will be created at Rs 30 lakh. The parks will have walkways and dense forest along with seating arrangements,” the official said.

150 new parks, 50 playfields to come up at Rs 100 crore under Singara Chennai 2.0

The official added that of the 150 parks, as many as 14 parks will be sponge parks, which will store flood water and recharge ground water. Sponge parks will have pond-like structures around which walkways, trees and fencing will be provided.

“The ponds will have recharge wells, inlet and outlet pipes. During the heavy rains, excess water will be diverted to the sponge parks and stored temporarily. We will maintain the level of the sponge parks in a way not to submerge the park by letting the excess water to nearby storm water drains through outlets. The parks will act as a buffer during the floods,” the official explained.

It may be noted that the civic body used subways such as Madley Subway and Rengarajapuram two-wheeler subway in T Nagar as a temporary pond during November floods to mitigate impact in West Mambalam. After the rains ceased, the water was pumped out. Slum board tenements to have playgrounds:

Similarly, the civic body has selected vacant plots and grounds that are not in use in order to redevelop them with basic facilities. “Under the project, unused grounds will be put into use. The playgrounds will have fencing and trees,” the official said.

He added that in a move to provide proper sporting facilities to the youngsters in slum board tenements, eight playgrounds out of total 50 grounds will be developed in eight slum tenements. “There is vacant land where the youngsters play, but they are not in good condition. Under the project, they will be improved.”

Meanwhile, the civic body has submitted detailed project reports along with the list of shortlisted spots for the approval of Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited (TNUIFSL). The civic body has prepared estimates to spend Rs 20 lakh per playground.

“TNUIFSL has to approve the DPRs and sanction fund. We expect the approval will come next week. Once the approval is obtained, the tendering process will commence,” the official said.

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