CHENNAI: Horrors of the 2015 floods resurfaced in the minds of citizens after the skies opened up on Saturday and incessant rain continued on Sunday too, resulting in water stagnation for hours, inundation of roads in suburban areas and water entering several houses. Pallavaram, Chromepet, Kundrathur, Chitlapakkam, Medavakkam, Madambakkam and Tambaram among other areas in the suburbs were the worst affected.
Most complaints raised by residents on Sunday were over stagnant water on street roads not draining out. “The Thirumalai Main Road towards Hasthinapuram was laid only three months ago and now the whole stretch has submerged in water,’’ said Nivedya Nair, a resident of Hasthinapuram near Chromepet.
She added that all canals and drains began to overflow by Sunday afternoon and the water had reached the doorsteps of many houses. Residents of Pallavaram too shared, with Express, images and videos of water gushing down the streets of Thirumalai Nagar and Thiruthani Nagar. In Kundrathur, some people reportedly broke Storm Water Drain (SWD) systems with earthmovers to divert stagnated water from their premises.
The reports were even worse from Chitlapakkam, where public parks too got inundated. Residents here blamed the Public Works Department and Panchayat officers, saying the Rs 17 crore ‘cut-and-cover’ drain project, connecting Chitlappakkam to Sembakkam lake, was not serving its purpose.
Hinting at corruption, Sunil Jayaraman of ‘Chitlapakkam Rising’ alleged that the drainage project was poorly engineered and the construction was also not up to the mark. Knee-deep water on
Thiruvottriyur and Kodungaiyur High Roads in North Chennai gravely inconvenienced commuters. “Excess water from the Ambattur lake led to the Korattur canal overflowing. Despite repeated
complaints, no official has come to our rescue,” said Mohan Raj, a Korattur resident.
Water management expert S Janakarajan said that SWDs were not constructed keeping in mind rainfall conditions. “The mason decides how to construct them. The quantity of probable rainfall has to be measured and then the construction of SWDs planned,’’ he added. Janakarajan said the civic body abandons all SWDs following their construction. “In most places, garbage piles and encroachments are part of the SWDs. They also act as sewage carriers,” he added.