As heavy rains lashed the city last week, a delay in the construction of storm water drains caused many predominate areas in Chennai to overflow and damaged roads led to traffic congestion.
Most areas of Chennai city experienced flooding during the 2021 Northeast monsoon. The construction of storm water drainage systems in the severely affected and vulnerable areas has been undertaken by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) in accordance with the recommendations made by the expert committee led by Thirupugal of the Tamil Nadu National Disaster Management Committee to reduce the risk of flooding in the city.
The construction of 1.05 km of new storm water drains costing Rs 8.26 crore, 60.83 km length at Rs 277.04 crore under the ‘Singara Chennai 2.0’ project in 15 zones under the Chennai Corporation, 107.57 km length at Rs 295.73 crore under the Flood Relief Fund, 10 km length at Rs 27.21 crore under the Infrastructure and Facilities Fund has been allocated for the construction of the drainage across the city.
Additionally, 769 km in the Kosasthalaiyar watersheds at Rs 3,220 crore under financial aid from the Asian Development Bank, 360 km in the Kovalam watershed areas at Rs 1,714 crore, and 44.88 km at the cost of Rs 120 crore with financial assistance from the World Bank are currently being brought with new storm water drains for miles.
In total, 1033.33 km of storm water drainage work is being done in Chennai at an estimated cost of more than Rs 5,000 crore. Apparently, this project is being carried out mostly in and around the central business areas of Royapuram, Anna Nagar, Adyar, Kodambakkam and Teynampet. Moreover, the project involves the restoration of the outdated SWDs and the construction of connection drains in 144 locations.
Earlier, during July, eight contractors were fined a total of Rs 25,000 by the Greater Chennai Corporation for their sluggish progress on storm water drain projects in Chennai. However, it is noteworthy that the Minister for Administration and Water Supply KN Nehru assured during July that the city’s different storm water drain projects would be finished by the end of September this year.
Subsequently, News18 Tamil Nadu launched a campaign called ‘Thinarum Thalainagaram’ to portray the city’s current state covering 15 zones in total.