COIMBATORE: It is not just in the capital city that stormwater drains have failed. Even in tier II cities like Coimbatore, the channels have proved ineffective, the one on Tiruchy road being an example. Water from Valakulam lake flowing on to the road on Tuesday triggering a debate on the design of the drain.
Residents said the situation threw light on the poor water management measures put in place by the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) ahead of monsoon.
WIth the arterial road inundated, traffic movement was affected and it took at least 20 minutes for motorists to cross the Ramanathapuram junction and pedestrians were forced to wriggle through stranded vehicles.
Even as Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) cut a portion of the road to drain the stagnant water, residents criticised the civic body for failing to come up with a permanent solution over the years.
A Victor (50), a resident of Police Kandhasamy street said there was knee-deep water near the Olympus bus stand on Monday and the water level subsided a little on Tuesday.
R P Nagarajan (55), a resident of Marudhur, said excess water from Valankulam lake had been flowing through a naturally formed canal from Ammankulam, via Puliakulam to Sanganoor stream until a few years ago.
"Recently, the corporation closed the canal and diverted the water to the stormwater drainage on Tiruchy road, which has caused the problem."
R Manikandan, coordinator of Kovai Kulangal Pathukappu Amaippu, said the outlet weirs of Valankulam lake are inadequate to carry surplus water. "Firstly, the size of the weirs must be widened to handle the maximum outflow of water. Next, the sludge in the stormwater drainage must be removed. And, an official must be appointed exclusively for lake management in the city as they are currently monitored by different officials," he opined.
S Thirunavukkarasu (75), a retired PWD assistant executive engineer, said waterlogging began after the surplus weir of Valankulam lake was removed some years ago to facilitate road expansion.
The current stormwater drain on Tiruchy road is narrow and cannot handle the huge flow of water from Valankulam lake, he said. Thirunavukkarasu suggested the corporation create a parallel water channel to drain water to Sanganoor stream.
When contacted, a senior CCMC' official said they have carved out a portion of the road using an earthmover to create a water channel parallel to stormwater drainage to let excess water flow through it without hindrance. He said the velocity of water flow has increased this year as the lake has reached its maximum storage level.