Imaginary picture for Chennai's 738-Crore Storm Water Drain Project proposed for Flood Relief

In the wake of Cyclone Michaung, which left a trail of destruction and flood-hit areas in its path, the Greater Chennai Corporation has taken a significant step towards mitigating future flood risks. They have initiated a massive 738-crore storm water drain (SWD) project aimed at providing much-needed relief to the affected regions, including OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), ECR (East Coast Road), Perungudi, and Pallikaranai.

Funded by the German KfW Bank, this ambitious project involves the construction of stormwater drains covering a staggering 122 kilometers, primarily along the critical OMR corridor. Once completed, this extensive drain network will span an impressive 283.18 kilometers, connecting to the Kovalam Basin, thereby enhancing the city's flood management capabilities.

One notable feature of the third phase of this project is the establishment of a direct drain connection from Semmenchery to the Buckingham Canal. This connection will help alleviate the burden on the Pallikaranai marshland, a crucial ecological area that often bears the brunt of floodwaters.

But the project's reach extends even further, with plans to include areas like Sri Sai Nagar, Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Senthil Nagar, Neelankarai Link Road, Bethel Nagar, and Nookampalayam within its drainage network. This comprehensive approach aims to address flooding issues in multiple neighborhoods, providing much-needed respite to residents.

A Ramachandran, a professor at Anna University, highlights the pressing need for macro-drains capable of accommodating larger volumes of water. He emphasizes the importance of reviving lost streams and restoring connectivity with lakes, especially in the face of increasingly frequent climate disasters. Streams like Madurapakkam Odai, Ottiyambakkam Odai, and Vengadamangalam Odai, which once flowed from Kancheepuram district into areas like DLF IT before draining into Pallikaranai marshland, have sadly disappeared, underlining the urgency of such initiatives.

While the project primarily focuses on stormwater drains, Jayaram Venkatesan, the convenor of the anti-corruption NGO Arappor Iyakkam, suggests that authorities should also prioritize the improvement of lakes and waterbodies in the region, highlighting the interconnectedness of water management and ecological conservation.

Chennai's 738-crore storm water drain project is not just about flood relief; it's a step towards creating a more resilient and sustainable future for the city, where both residents and the environment can thrive. As climate change continues to pose challenges, such initiatives become increasingly vital in safeguarding communities and ecosystems.

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Page Last Updated on : 31st May 2024