CHENNAI: A few days ago in some localities in Mandaveli and Ashok Nagar, local engineers knocked on doors of residents promising to resolve the flood issue by raising the level of streets they live in. The engineers said there was no other solution as roads surrounding their localities were in an elevated position, which made their locality resemble a saucer holding all the water runoff.
Many of these streets have 30-year-old stor m water drains and quite a few have none. Senior corporation officials said these suggestions made by the engineers cannot be executed as they are against road-laying policy. “We will not do this,” said a senior official.
But the problem persists. Many key localities in the city – Ashok Nagar, Mandaveli, Alwarpet and Pullianthope – are down and out, as all roads surrounding them have risen above these densely populated areas.
Rama Prabhakar, resident of Srinivasan Stree in Mandaveli, explained that after the 2015 floods, GCC increased the height of Devanathan Street, a bus route road, and laid drains on it. “Our lane, which branches off Devanathan Street, automatically went lower and became a sink for the surface run-off. Water entered my house,” she said.
Residents seeking permanent solution to this, said, road laying, as a policy should be given a second look. Chitra Vaidyanathan, a finance professional from Seethammal Colony, said the corporation did an excellent job by pumping out water day and night, but that can’t be a permanent solution. “They cannot do this for every time it rains. Around our area, the road height isn’t even. While topography and sea level cannot be questioned, the road height cannot be raised in certain areas and reduced in some,” she said.
Wrong road-laying policies during the past decade have worsened the condition of these localities, where there were instances of storm water gushing out of manholes. Instead of draining out water they end up becoming inlets for floods as was the case near Aranganathan subway in T Nagar and many residential localities where manholes overflowed.
There is little option left for civic authorities who cannot leave the surrounding areas with bad roads, and at the same time cannot help these localities getting lower after every road-topping. Chennai corporation commissioner, Gagandeep Singh Bedi said, at no cost can they increase the road height.