CHENNAI: Residents of Nandambakkam and Ramapuram heave a sigh of relief with the city Corporation completing the essential parts of the Nandambakkam Canal restoration ahead of the onset of the monsoon. The 3.3-km Nandambakkam canal carries water from stormwater drains in most parts of Valasaravakkam zone and some areas in Alandur zone to the Adyar River near Miot Hospital in Ramapuram.
According to engineers on site, most sections of the canal have been deepened to a depth of 12 feet and widened to 15-20 feet depending on the locations. However, it is the completion of the sidewalls which has excited residents near the disposal point the most. Being low lying areas, residents of Venkateshwara Nagar and Annai Sathya Nagar in Ramapuram face flooding when the canal overflows after heavy rains every year.
“At least for a week every monsoon our chips business is affected because of overflowing canal,” said M Saravanan, a chips manufacturer near the canal in Venkateswara Nagar. But, with 20-cm thick concrete side walls constructed along the entire stretch of the canal, residents like Saravanan feel their monsoon troubles are behind them.
“The high walls will stop the canal from overflowing and the canal depth has been increased by eight feet near the shop so there is very little chance of flooding if the monsoon is normal,” Saravanan said. According to workers, the sidewalls haven’t been constructed only in a few sections to allow entry of JCBs and the gaps would be filled before the monsoon.
Concrete bottoms for the canal are yet to be laid in most sections and project contractors claim that continuous flow of sewage has hampered progress on that front. “The Corporation has asked us to concentrate on essential parts of the restoration, components such as metal netting over the side walls and concrete bottoms will be finished only after the monsoon,” said one of the contractors, explaining work has been taken up from the disposal point to ensure there is proper exit for rainwater. A top Corporation official claimed that work will be finished by December. “Around 60 percent of the work has been completed now,” the official said.