High tide turns villain as several areas marooned

Chennai’s flat gradient slowed down water draining, says Corporation commissioner
Damodharan, a resident of Madippakkam, sweeps out flood water inside  his house on Thursday | Ashwin Prasath
Damodharan, a resident of Madippakkam, sweeps out flood water inside his house on Thursday | Ashwin Prasath

CHENNAI: “High tide is the primary reason behind water-logging in almost 18 out of the 58 areas where it continues today,” Corporation  Commissioner G Prakash told reporters on Thursday. Waterlogging in the rest of the areas have been cleared, he added. 

“The city’s flat gradient slows down the natural process of water draining. The high tide makes the task of pumping water out at various disposal points more difficult,” Prakash said. Areas where waterlogging is yet to be cleared include Ram Nagar in Velachery, parts of Madipakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Pulianthope and KK  Nagar. “Work is underway and the issues will be sorted out in a few hours,” Prakash added.

The city, however, has not faced any major waterlogging issues, thanks to improvements in infrastructure over the last five years, Prakash said. “After the December 2015 floods, the Corporation received over 1,000 complaints of waterlogging. Over the next few years, infrastructure was improved. We created 1,000 km of new stormwater drains, which were maintained according to a strict, standard operating  procedure.

A sum of around Rs 2,800 crore has been invested by various agencies to achieve this,” the civic body chief said. Further, revival of 210 waterbodies in the city has also helped mitigate flooding and minimise damage. The Corporation had received 302 complaints from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning, out of which 135 have been addressed. The rest are in various stages of completion, Prakash said. 

Subways remained largely unaffected by waterlogging, except the Ganesapuram facility in Vyasarpadi. Corporation staff had difficulties in pumping out water from here into the Otteri Nullah owing to high tide. Around 4,000 people were moved to 68 relief camps as a precautionary measure. To  prevent disease outbreak, lime and bleaching powder mixture is being liberally applied across various localities.

Chembarambakkam outflow reduced
Chennai: The discharge of water from Chembarambakkam lake was reduced on Thursday. The discharge was reduced to 500 cusecs to maintain the water level at 22 feet as against its full level of 24 feet. The gates of the reservoir were opened on Wednesday for the first time in five years

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