Chennai Buzz: Half of city has stormwater drains | Addition to Bus Route Roads..and more

A recap of the latest reports from your city on inadequacy of stormwater drains and the fall-out, plans for water, public toilet upgrades and more

Half of Chennai without stormwater drains; sewer lines helped clear floodwater

In the aftermath of the recent spell of rains that inundated the city, questions are being asked of the stormwater drain network that should have prevented water-logging. Data shows that more than half the city still doesn’t have a robust, well-connected network of drains, causing flooding during monsoons. The city has 2058 km of drains, which is less than 50% of the area that should be covered to prevent water-logging.

In the absence of stormwater drains, data from the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has revealed that the sewage pumping stations in the city pumped out 25% more than the quantum that it does on regular days. This implies that the additional quantum could be a mix of sewage and flood waters from the recent spell of rains that lashed the city the past week.

CMWSSB tankers were also used to pump out flood waters and the water was also directed to the underground sewage lines in some streets. The increased quantity carried by the underground sewage lines caused issues in 15 main pipes.

Source: The Times of India | DTNext

Read more: RTI data reveals that only 34% of Chennai roads are flood proof!

Water to be a focus in Third Master plan

To combat the frequent flooding faced by the city in recent times, the Third Master Plan will include elements such as the city’s rainwater flow pattern and the catchment areas. Through extensive mapping this data will be put to use in the formulation of the third master plan for the city. 

The exercise also will look into the flow of water whether on public or private land prior to granting of approvals. Multiple clearances will be stipulated for permissions for construction to keep flood-sensitive areas out of the purview.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has also called for public consultations to look into the expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan Area. The planning body is of the view that the city limits need expansion to combat unbridled growth. 

Source: The New Indian Express

builtup area chennai
The built-up area has expanded over the years. Pic:Raj Bhagat

Public toilets in the city to get facelift

The public toilets in the city are expected to get a makeover with additional seating, repairs and improvement of facilities. An audit by the Greater Chennai Corporation found that of the 800 toilets under its maintenance around 290 have been found to be in good condition. The civic body is set to undertake maintenance and repair works on the remaining toilets, with tenders floated for this purpose.

A total of 142 toilets have been made part of the tender, with the civic body aiming to convert them into modern and child-friendly, disabled-friendly toilets. The toilets will be developed under a public-private partnership model.

However, the civic body assures that the user charges will not be hiked. The bidders will be permitted to generate revenue from the space through operations and advertisements. 

Source: The Hindu | DTNext

Read more: Why did it take a death for GCC to focus on potholes in Chennai?

More roads to be added to Bus Route Roads

The Greater Chennai Corporation is set to increase the number of bus route roads in the city. The move will be preceded by a study by the civic body on traffic in the 40,000 interior roads of the city. Roads with high traffic movement and movement of pedestrians will be brought under Bus Route Roads. The move will include roads such as Taylors Road and Harrington Road. 

While at present 417 roads are maintained by the civic body as Bus Route Roads, the number is expected to increase substantially after the completion of this exercise. The move will also make it harder for various agencies to get permission for road cuts in the roads designated as Bus Route Roads. 

At present GCC is undertaking repairs of various roads in the aftermath of the recent rains and water logging. So far, flood mitigation work has been carried out across 778 spots.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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