CHENNAI: With roads in disarray due to the extensive stormwater drain work being taken up across the city, residents are left wondering what will happen when monsoon arrives. However, corporation officials are confident that the roads will be motorable before the rains. The drains have been categorised based on priority and work is being undertaken accordingly. Any new work that involves digging has been put on hold for now.
At present, work is being undertaken in around 200 km across the city for arterial drains. With monsoon just around the corner, authorities have classified SWD work into two- Priority 1 and Priority 2 projects. The first priority has been awarded to stormwater drains in arterial roads and the second priority is for feeder drains. The deadline, for the Priority 1 projects that were started in May, has been set for September 30.
Officials are hopeful that by the time the priority projects are completed, the drains (along with the 2,078 km of existing drains) will be ready to carry water this monsoon. So far, 95% of the arterial drain projects spanning around 120 km have been completed.
What remains are the feeder drain projects that take up around 80 km. While realistically, these may not be completed in time for the monsoon, officials are looking to mitigate water stagnation by keeping pumps ready in these areas to drain out water.
The corporation had compiled a list of 568 locations across the city where water stagnation was recorded last time. Of these, in around 100 locations, it was found that stagnant water took five or more days to drain. “The State government was clear that in the locations that were affected by water stagnation and inundation last year, water must drain quickly this time. We have done our best to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” said an official.
While residents are worried that the already dug up roads may prove dangerous once the rains start, officials said the roads will be made motorable before rains. “We have stopped digging and are currently taking up only restoration and patch work. We are already taking steps to ensure the roads are not slippery,” said a corporation official. The civic body has, in addition, allotted Rs 10 lakh for each of the 200 wards to attend to repair work.