Perambur park to get first musical fountain

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is planning to install a musical fountain, the first of its kind by the civic body, at the upcoming park on the northern side of the Perambur flyover.

EAGERLY AWAITED: The proposed park near the Perambur flyover where the musical fountain will be installed. — Photo: V. Ganesan

The work is expected to be completed by the end of next month, according to Corporation officials. Tenders for the fountain would be called next week.

The estimated cost of the facility will be Rs.25 lakh.

Water from the fountain would appear as if it is dancing to recorded music. Coloured lights would be used to light up the jets.

However, no separate enclosure or seating arrangements is being created around the fountain.

Work on the park, which is being undertaken at a cost of Rs.30 lakh, is expected to get over simultaneously.

The facilities in the park, on about 50 grounds of land, include a 400-metre-long walking track, yoga stage, lawns, seating arrangements and children’s play area.

Another park, on the southern side, has already been completed with play area for children, seating arrangements and lawns and attracts over 5,000 visitors daily.

Residents have welcomed the Corporation’s decision to develop parks as there are no such facilities in the area. R.Umapathy, a resident, said some kind of system must be introduced for parking vehicles. Separate bays need to be earmarked for motorbikes and four-wheelers.

Additional policing was needed near the park to prevent anti-social elements from misusing the facility at night.

Deepa H Ramakrishnan – From THE HINDU

Noise levels affecting sea mammals

CHENNAI: “The underwater noise levels today are ten times more than they were a few decades ago, which is a serious worry for life on land and water because sustainable ocean space makes way for sustainable land space,” said S.K. Bhattacharya, Head, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras.

He was delivering a special lecture on ‘Acoustics’ for school students organised by the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre in collaboration with Madras India Regional Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America and Acoustical Foundation here on Saturday.

S.K. Bhattacharya, Head, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT-M, interacts with school students at a programme on acoustics in Chennai on Saturday. Founder of Acoustical Foundation H.S. Paul (second from right) is in the picture. — Photo: K..V.Srinivasan

Listing the various ill-effects of underwater noise pollution on marine mammals, Professor Bhattacharya said that anthropogenic noise due to activities like commercial shipping, Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR) activities and hydrocarbon-related engineering activities contributed a great deal in increasing the noise levels.

Marine mammals exposed to underwater noise pollution suffer from displacement, trauma, stranding, internal injuries, eye haemorrhaging, and sometimes even death, he added.

“The marine mammals exposed to Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) above a certain level can sometimes face mass extinction,” he said.

The other significant activities detrimental to the sustenance of a healthy marine system, he added, were dredging, drilling and exploration, near shore construction and military activities on the sea.

On the various statutory bodies of seawater regulation, regulatory mechanisms on water and other environmental issues, Professor Bhattacharya said that the ocean taxonomy needed to be documented better.


June, a month of unstable weather

Development of convective clouds generated in the evening, after intense heat in the day, causes rain

CHENNAI: The sun has been playing hide and seek with the clouds for the past few weeks. This month, so far, the city has received 55.8 mm of rainfall, which is more than the average of 43.3 mm in June. The rain brought down the maximum temperature from the average 36 degree Celsius to 34 degree Celsius on many days.

Under way: Stormwater drain construction in progress at Kannapar Thidal. Chennai Corporation has taken up construction of stormwater drains in several areas. — Photo: V. Ganesan

According to S.R. Ramanan, Director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai has been experiencing unstable weather due to a combination of factors. The development of convective clouds generated in the evening, after intense heat in the day, causes rain, he said. The city has also been experiencing rain due to local thunderstorm activity. This weather is expected to be like this till the end of this month.

However, even a light shower has proved to be enough to result in water stagnation on several roads, including Vepery High Road, Tiruvottiyur High Road, Broadway, Ganesapuram, Valluvarkottam High Road, Sterling Road and in Choolai.

With the black topping on many roads having been removed using cold milling method for relaying, two-wheeler riders say they find it more difficult to negotiate these stretches during rain.

During the monsoon, subways including those in Ganesapuram, Vysarpadi Jeeva, near RBI, Thillai Ganga Nagar and those in T.Nagar get flooded. A flyover proposed at Ganesapuram to tide over the problem is yet to materialise.

L. Sudha, who lives off Bazullah Road in T. Nagar, said “Invariably, there is knee-deep water during the rains and we have always faced the problem of rainwater mixing with sewage.”

R. Prasad, a resident of George Town, said sewage mixing with drinking water was a major issue in many parts of north Chennai. “Even during the summer, we have sewage overflowing on the roads and at times reverse flow into buildings. Clogged drains and pumping stations that do not function properly are reasons for this. Repeated complaints have not borne fruit,” he said, adding that the situation would be worse during north-east monsoon.

The Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metrowater are gearing up to meet challenges of inundation, blocked stormwater drains (SWD) and sewer lines and drinking water contamination.

According to senior Corporation officials, of the total 931 km of SWD, 463 km have already been desilted. Tenders have been prepared to desilt and repair 333 km of SWD and canals. Various important links in the network, including at Kellys, a SWD that cuts across Poonamallee High Road near Ripon Building and one on Tiruvottiyur High Road would be desilted. New link drains are being constructed in Nungambakkam, Ganesapuram, T. Nagar and Purasawalkam, the officials said.

The Metrowater has intensified joint patrolling with the Corporation to ensure supply of safe drinking water. It has also doubled the number of water samples collected daily for bacteriological analysis to 120. Apart from this, each day about 400 samples are taken for testing physical parameters, including total dissolved solids and 2,000 samples checked for chlorine levels, said officials.

Sewage pumping stations are also being overhauled to prevent failure of the system during monsoon owing to additional load.

Though mosquitoes are not yet a problem in the city, residents of suburban areas where spraying and fogging are hardly done find it difficult to cope with. “We cannot sleep without mosquito repellents. Whenever there are power cuts or low voltage, mosquitoes seem to come in battalions,” said Visalakshi Rajaraman of Poonamallee.

Municipalities, on their part, are trying to take up work to equip localities for the monsoon. According to a senior official of Ambattur Municipality, fogging and spraying of larvicides for mosquito control are being carried out regularly.

“We are also desilting canals to prevent logging. Localities such as Korattur, Padi and Mogappair face water stagnation as they are low-level areas,” the official said, adding that the focus would be on prevention of stagnation and conservation of rainwater.

Officials of the Madhavaram Municipality said work on an underground drainage project was on.


Sewerage system expansion may be delayed

Project hit a roadblock when Metrowater detected potential risk to drinking water pipeline

CHENNAI: The work to expand the capacity of the sewerage interceptor system on Police Commissioner Office Road in Egmore is unlikely to be completed as scheduled.

The digging work has left one side of the Police Commissioner Office Road, Egmore, in bad shape. — Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

The project, which was to be commissioned two months ago, has hit a roadblock with the Chennai Metrowater detecting a potential risk to the drinking water pipeline running close to the alignment of the sewer line.

Following this the contractor of the work on the sewerage interceptor system proposes to shift the work to the other side of the road to avoid any disturbance to the water pipeline. Since this would involve further traffic diversions, permission from the police has been sought.

Though the digging work has been suspended on the stretch leading from Dr. Nair Bridge junction to the Pantheon Road junction, motorists are not yet allowed to use the stretch. Instead, the vehicles are being diverted through other roads such as Gandhi Irwin Road and Whannels Road.

Niraj Patel, a resident of Police Commissioner Office Road, said the work started in September last year. Even if the stretch was opened, vehicles would find it difficult to negotiate the bumpy, damaged stretch. The work, including re-laying of the stretch, must be completed soon to put an end to the detour and traffic congestion on nearby roads, he said.

Officials of the Metrowater said the project was time-consuming as it involved construction of deep sewer system.

Of the 12 manholes proposed to be constructed on the 360-metre stretch on Police Commissioner Office Road, seven have been built at a depth of five to six metres covering a distance of 112 m.

It is part of additional works of Chennai City River Conservation Project executed at a cost of Rs.1.66 crore. The project covering a total distance of 900 metre till Pudupet is being implemented to strengthen the network leading to Langs Garden sewage pumping station.

The delay was due to the shifting of the work to the other side of the road.

The remaining work, up to the Pantheon Road junction, would be taken up only after approval from traffic police as the traffic bound for Dr.Nair Bridge had to be diverted, the officials said.

K. Lakshmi – From THE HINDU

Metrowater to install new system to monitor water treatment

CHENNAI: Chennai Metrowater will soon float a tender to upgrade some of its facilities. The State government has already sanctioned funds for the project.

An order was issued recently by the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department sanctioning Rs.7.75 crore for the project. Officials of Metrowater said Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA), a computer system to monitor the process, would be installed at the Surapet water treatment plant and Perungudi sewage treatment plant at a total cost of Rs.41.1 crore. The SCADA would help in monitoring the volume of water treated and pumped out to the pipeline and the quality of water treated and effluent quality. The water agency would also use the funds to procure 25 flow meters to be fixed at nine water distribution stations, including Vysarpadi, Choolaimedu and Mylapore, and water treatment plant at Kilpauk.

The flow meters would facilitate accounting the volume of water being pumped into the main pipeline for distribution and also check for loss of water enroute, an official said. Moreover, the training centre of Metrowater would also be provided with additional facilities, including hostel, at a cost of Rs.1.70 crore. The centre provides skill upgradation training to nearly 800 staff of various government agencies, including Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board and MAWS department.

The project is expected to be completed in nine months, the official added.