Major channel cleaning exercise gets under way ahead of monsoon

16 JCBs, 32 tractors being used to lift muck from waterbodies

As part of preparations ahead of north-east monsoon, Madurai Corporation has planned to remove encroachments and garbage from all major water channels in the city by focusing on one channel at a time by deploying a large number of workers and equipment at one place.

The campaign, which started by taking up cleaning of the Chintamani channel off Mela Ponnagaram Main Road, would go on till September 25, Corporation Commissioner K. P. Karthikeyan said. Low-lying areas have been identified and it will be ensured that rainwater stagnation is prevented in these areas by way of constructing storm water drain outlets.

“Channels in the city have been encroached and people are using them as garbage dump, Many channels are clogged by plastic bottles and medical waste,” an official overseeing the operation said.

Officials from the Health Department of the Corporation said that once the channels were cleaned, oil balls would be dropped into them to prevent mosquito breeding. Cleaning up the waterbodies will also prevent outbreak of dengue and malaria.

City Engineer S. Arasu said that they have roped in 150 workers from different zones to work on Chintamani channel with the help of 16 JCBs and 32 tractors to lift the muck. By deployment of workers en masse at a particular place, the canal could be cleaned swiftly, he said.

Once a canal is cleaned, another canal would be targeted. The cleaning work at Chintamani channel will take about five days, he said.

Finance Minister P. T. R. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan and Collector Aneesh Shekhar inspected the cleaning operation and appealed to the residents to use dumper bins to dispose of the waste.

The Commissioner appealed to the public to protect the waterbodies and ensure that they were free of encroachments and litter.

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