Sluice gates still not in place to save Chitlapakkam
CHENNAI: From 2019, south Chitlapakkam keep experiencing inundation during northeast monsoons, as the authorities were yet to install sluice gates on the bypass, which is the major reason for such flooding. Ahead of this year’s monsoon, locals fear a repeat of water stagnation and urge the concerned department to act at the earliest.
“They have constructed an inlet and bypass arrangement to divert the sewage, as the percentage of pollution gets reduced during the rainy season. The sluice gates were not installed, especially the bypass near surplus weir, should be installed to fill the lake up to full tank level and save rainwater. Instead of the water entering the lake, it gets reversed and leads to inundation in south Chitlapakkam,” said Dayanand Krishnan, an activist.
Several areas, including Vaithiyalingam Salai, Abraham Lincoln Street, Pradeep Avenue, Karthik Avenue, Balaji Avenue, Shanthi Avenue have all been flooded for the past two years. Residents are worried that even with mild rains these areas will witness water stagnation.
“The Water Resources Department has constructed a flood regulator to reach up to the full tank level. They can open the regulator and through stormwater drains water flows to Sembakkam Lake. Though the inundation of water level decreased, it has not been put into full use to prevent inundation even after they spent at least Rs 5 – 6 crore on the project,” said T Jagatheesh, a resident of Chitlapakkam.
Locals have raised complaints to the government and the Collector assured them to inspect the locality and take further actions before the onset of the northeast monsoon.
When contacted, a senior official with the Water Resources Department (WRD) said, “They are waiting for the fund allotment from the Forest Department. And, the work on the sluice is expected to start this week. To prevent flooding in the locality, we have made temporary arrangements.”