Projects proposed to mitigate floods in Chennai’s southern parts

They will be carried out as emergency disaster management works, with funding from the State government

As part of its continued efforts to mitigate floods, the Water Resources Department (WRD) has proposed various projects to strengthen infrastructure and bridge the missing links between waterbodies and waterways in the southern parts of the city.

The department has proposed projects as emergency flood mitigation works, particularly in the Sholinganallur and Tambaram belt, that witnessed inundation last year. The projects, worth nearly ₹240 crore, would be taken up with funding from the State government as one of the disaster management strategies.

The schemes proposed for comprehensive flood mitigation and conservation in city and peri-urban areas was still awaiting funding from the World Bank and could take time to execute, said officials of the WRD.

Link channels would be created to carry surplus floodwater between waterbodies. For instance, a channel would be formed from Sembakkam lake, which does not have a defined surplus course, and connected to Nanmangalam lake. Similarly, a link channel would be built to transfer excess water from Nemilichery lake to Nanmangalam lake.

Officials said implementation delays were unlikely since land acquisition was not required. “We have identified works where there are missing links in channels either due to topography or urban development. Earlier, floodwater would have travelled through vacant/agricultural lands to reach waterbodies,” an official said.

Another major project, worth nearly ₹96.50 crore, has been proposed. It involves the creation of a floodwater channel to link Ottiyambakkam channel and Madurapakkam drain and to Pallikaranai marshland to reduce inundation in areas, including Perumbakkam and Semmenchery. The new channel may cut down distance of travel by 6 km.

A macro-drain would also be constructed from Puduthangal lake, near Tambaram, to Pappan channel. A flood protection wall would be built along Pappan channel and a stretch of Adyar river near Dargah Road in Tambaram. More floodwater drains would be formed to provide connectivity in various places, including from Irumbuliyur lake to GST Road.

Improving waterways

The waterways between Kovilambakkam lake and Keelakattalai channel and between Adambakkam lake and Veerangal Odai would also be improved and would benefit a population of at least 30,000, including areas such as Jeevan Nagar and Surendra Nagar.

“We expect these projects to reduce inundation by at least 50% and bring down the flood risk level from vulnerable to moderate. Tenders may be floated in a couple of months. These projects were proposed based on the success of cut-and-cover channels in reducing waterlogging in areas such as West Tambaram, Mudichur and Narayanapuram,” the official added.

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