Sans stormwater drains in Chennai, interior roads inundated even after moderate rains

 As moderate rainfall persisted in the city for the second day on Thursday, many arterial roads fell prey to water stagnation.

Published: 23rd November 2018 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd November 2018 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

Motorists drive in the rain near Velachery on Thursday | ASHWIN PRASATH

Express News Service

CHENNAI : As moderate rainfall persisted in the city for the second day on Thursday, many arterial roads fell prey to water stagnation. The Greater Chennai Corporation has allocated a budget of nearly `200 crore to repair and build missing links between existing storm water drains and also to build new ones. But as works including desilting of drains and construction of new ones started only a month before the monsoon, majority of the internal roads continue to be inundated.  

According to official data accessed by Express from Chennai Corporation, a total of 62 streets across seven zones of Manali, Madhavaram, Royapuram, Ambattur, Anna Nagar, Adyar and Shollinganallur, had rainwater stagnation as of 11 am on Thursday. A majority of these were found to be arterial roads inside residential pockets that lacked storm water drains. "So far we have cleared 30 out of 62 streets and work is going on to clear the rest.

We also cleared 16 trees and pumped water out of six subways on Thursday morning," said a corporation official. Residents observed that most main roads and highways were bereft of any major stagnation. "Along Santhome High Road, water drained in half an hour's time. But interior roads were filled with one foot of water," said C R Balaji, a local civic activist.

According to a disaster management website,, that collects crowd-sourced information about flooding in the city, 37 places were inundated in the past 24 hours.On the other hand, storm water and cut and cover drains that were being constructed, were also filled with water. At three spots along EVR Periyar Road in Vepery, half-built drains were submerged in two feet of water.

Similarly, the cut and cover drains being built in Chitalapakkam were filled with rainwater due to which Pambanswamigal Street, Sethunarayana Street and Ramanan Street were inundated. "The work on Whites Road and Anna Salai has been moving at a snail's pace," said Ramakrisnan M, a resident of Triplicane.
A retired PWD official on the condition of anonymity said, "Most storm water drains are not built according to standard measurements. One drain's height will not match with the other. Hence there is no proper path for water to drain."(With inputs from Nirupama Viswanathan)


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