City officials are racing against the clock to prepare for rains from the Northeast monsoon.
What’s happening: In certain areas in the city, JCB machines are working away at stormwater drains before the monsoon arrives. Entire stretches of roads have been dug up to accommodate the drains leading to traffic congestion. The city is trying to learn from others but also from its own past with the floods in 2005 and 2015 and the heavy rainfall last November.
- So far, 130 km of stormwater drains have been completed, and 1,400 km of desilting is being done. The Corporation has taken up the work earlier than usual and is about 70-75% complete.
- One of the areas of focus is desilting the Buckingham Canal near Basin bridge, Otteri, and at the Virugambakkam canal near the Koyambedu bus station.
Concerns and the future: In some areas, residents are concerned about the stormwater drains designed by IIT Madras which are said to be higher than the level of people’s homes. It could make them vulnerable to floodwater.
- The Corporation is also looking to the future with its draft Chennai Climate Action Plan. It details the risks posed to Chennai by climate change.