CHENNAI: Areas like T Nagar, Alwarpet, Pulianthope, Velachery, Kolathur, Korattur, and Perambur remained water logged even after Sunday evening when the rain relented not because there were no drains but because they were either not constructed with the proper gradient, slope and invert levels or blocks weren’t cleared.
This, said Jayaram Venkatesan of Arappor Iyakkam, proved the city hadn’t learned any lessons after the 2015 deluge. “Thousands of crores were spent on projects after 2015 and because the implementing agencies were corrupt and the officials didn’t monitor the projects well, we are facing a similar deluge fear now.”
Many Public Works Department-maintained water bodies such as the Velachery surplus canal weren’t widened and de-silted despite residents writing to the department in September.
On Sunday night, newly laid culverts on EVR Periyar Salai, near the new police commissioner’s office, were of little help as only two of the five meant to drain water at 1,100 cubic feet per second (cusecs) were constructed. So, the excess rainwater could not reach the Buckingham Canal.
In some areas, the disposal points weren’t linked as per the natural drain course such as on Nelson Manickam Road. “It is a fact that Otteri Nallah, Thanickachalam canal, Kodungaiyur canal are always overflowing during rain. If we connect all the drains to these canals, how will the water drain,” asked a corporation official.
Corporation-built drains in areas such as Korattur and Korattur didn’t function as they were connected to the main drain on elevated Inner Ring Road.
Mullai Nagar was flooded because the Kodungaiyur canal breached and not because of heavy rain. All areas that weren’t supposed to drain into the canal were connected to it. In T Nagar, the civic body didn’t focus on the Mambalam canal and removed the blocks only on Monday. In Velachery, drains were connected to the lake that always overflows instead of to the Adyar river.
A corporation engineer said the civic body would take corrective steps in the next monsoon. For instance, all water from Avadi flows into Korattur, Retteri and Kolathur. We need to find alternative measures if we need to de-clog these areas next monsoon.”