CHENNAI: After the fiasco during the rains last year, when T Nagar and its surroundings were severely waterlogged, the corporation has rethought its Mambalam canal restoration project, and will now focus on increasing the canal’s capacity instead of undertaking beautification projects.
Beautification projects, including a concrete slab over the canal, a cycle track, landscaping, and seating areas that were planned as part of the ‘Blue Connect’ project in 2020, have been dropped, and the corporation has undertaken intensive desilting including clearing up legacy silt in the 11 major culverts along the canal.
Last year, many areas, especially T Nagar, were inundated although `80 crore was spent for the canal’s restoration. “We will also construct flood-protection walls along the canal’s boundary. We have been desilting the canal with two robotic excavators and one recycler machine. The work will be completed before the onset of the monsoon,” said a senior corporation official. A recycler machine is used to separate water from silt and use the water to clear up choked passages.
Mambalam canal is the stormwater carrier that starts from Vidyodaya Main Road near Valluvarkottam and disposes it into the Adyar, collecting water from GN Chetty Road, Theagaraya Road, CIT Nagar, Saidapet, Mount Road, Todhunter Nagar, and Golf ground. It covers a length of 5,700 metres.
As the monsoon is expected soon, the corporation has urged contractors to complete at least 70% of all ongoing work so as to reduce waterlogging. “We are cautiously optimistic that there will be reduced waterlogging this time since we have undertaken stormwater projects on a large scale, but there is still work to do for a completely waterlogging-free city,” said an official.