Civic body to get a mini amphibian for desilting

By Nirupama Viswanathan| Express News Service | Published: 11th September 2018 10:34 PM

CHENNAI: The City Corporation is looking to add a mini amphibian and six desilting equipment to its fleet to help expedite clearing of floating vegetation like water hyacinth, after its existing machinery proved inadequate, said Corporation officials. The mini amphibian is to be procured at an estimated cost of `1.7 crore.

The amphibian that is already in operation was imported from Finland and is mainly used for removing water hyacinth. It has been put to work in the Buckingham canal, Captain Cotton canal and the Adyar river.   

The civic body already has three robotic excavators, procured at a cost of `4.5 crore each from Switzerland. These machines were procured in 2017 and were aimed to help the Corporation desilt narrow canals.

However, Corporation officials said, the new additions would come into operation only after “two or three months”. This means it may not be available in time for the monsoon this year.
The move to procure additional desilting machines comes after the CAG report in July this year pulled up the City Corporation for attributing the ban on manual scavenging to the slow desilting works carried out in storm water drains (SWDs)

The report had stated that SWDs were not cleaned in 163 of 614 streets with drains in Kodambakkam zone during 2013-2016. Similarly, cleaning was not done in any of the 898 streets in Perungudi zone during 2015-16, the report stated, observing that non cleaning of SWDs contributed to inundation of these areas.
Meanwhile, Corporation officials are mulling options to effectively use the water hyacinth cleared.

“The clearing and transportation of the water hyacinth is an expensive affair. We are considering options to put it into good use instead,” said a Corporation official.

Amphibians at work
The amphibian that is already in operation was imported from Finland and has been put to work in the Buckingham canal, Captain Cotton canal and the Adyar river.

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