Chennai – Residents fear recurrence of flooding

Civic groups write to local bodies on steps taken in southern suburbs

TAMBARAM: Ahead of the northeast monsoon, the question on the minds of residents of the southern suburbs of Chennai is: Will the rainy season result in flooding, inundation and marooning of residential areas like the previous years?

Civic groups have written to the administrators of local bodies in the southern suburbs asking them about the steps taken to avoid flooding.

On Tuesday, Labour Minister T.M.Anbarasan and Kancheepuram Collector Santhosh K.Misra convened a meeting in Pallavaram Municipality in which engineers of the Public Works Department, officials and engineers of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply and chiefs of civic bodies took part.

Making an effort: Residents want agencies to expedite improvement works before the onset of the monsoon. A view of the work on a water channel linking the Selaiyur lake with waterbodies. — Photo: A. Muralitharan

Making an effort: Residents want agencies to expedite improvement works before the onset of the monsoon. A view of the work on a water channel linking the Selaiyur lake with waterbodies. — Photo: A. Muralitharan

Officials and engineers were given instructions to identify the worst-hit areas and to take remedial measures, most important among them being creation of stormwater drains along arterial roads to link them to the nearest water channels and deepen, desilt and widen the existing branch canals that linked the various lakes in the southern suburbs.

In the past, areas around West Tambaram, Madipakkam, Ullagaram-Puzhuthivakkam, Keelkattalai, Pammal and areas in Alandur Municipality were among the worst affected. The primary reasons for this were choked stormwater drains.

More importantly, water channels linking many of the lakes in the southern suburbs of Chennai were neglected for years. Owing to complaints and public pressure, government agencies have started carrying out improvement works on some of these channels, like the main canal linking Keelkattalai Lake with Narayanapuram Lake and Pallikaranai marshland.

According to Mr. Anbarasan, efforts were being taken to prevent flooding in residential areas in Kancheepuram district. With specific reference to the southern suburbs of Chennai, the Minister said Mooverampettai and Madipakkam lakes were deepened at a cost of Rs.10 lakh each. Most of the flooding around Tambaram was due to Adyar river overflowing, caused by surplus water from the Chembarambakkam lake.

Attention was given to carrying out improvement works on Adyar river and also on branches joining it.The entire official machinery would be deployed to implement flood prevention measures, the Minister said.

From THE HINDU

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