Dug-up drains pose se­ri­ous risk

Project de­lays, fail­ure to cor­don off in­com­plete fa­cil­i­ties add to dan­ger

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Many roads that have been dug up for de­vel­op­ing ‘miss­ing links’ in stormwa­ter drains have be­come ‘death traps’ be­cause of the de­lay in the project and the fail­ure of the au­thor­i­ties to cor­don off the in­com­plete stormwa­ter drains.

The Chen­nai Cor­po­ra­tion started cor­don­ing off dug-up drains in 2011 af­ter an in­com­plete drain claimed the life of a 24-year-old woman on North Us­man Road in T.Na­gar.

Ahead of the the north­east mon­soon last year, the Cor­po­ra­tion de­cided to take up “miss­ing links” in stormwa­ter drain net­work in 335 lo­ca­tions that were flooded in 2015.

The north­east mon­soon has ended but the Cor­po­ra­tion has not been able to com­plete work on stormwa­ter drains in 206 lo­ca­tions across the city, pos­ing a risk to pedes­tri­ans and mo­torists.

Fre­quent falls

A. Dan­da­pani, a res­i­dent of Eg­more, said pedes­tri­ans were get­ting in­jured by fall­ing in the dug-up drains near Gengu Reddy Sub­way along Poona­mallee High Road.

In Ko­dambakkam, ThiruVi-Ka Na­gar, Anna Na­gar and Tey­nam­pet zones, the stormwa­ter drain works have been com­pleted on many streets. “We have com­pleted work at 44 lo­ca­tions. Over 85 drains are yet to be taken up. We have strictly in­structed the con­trac­tors to en­sure bar­ri­cad­ing at all work sites and in­structed our staff to mon­i­tor them very closely. The project team also en­sures these safety as­pects. If there any spe­cific com­plaints with re­gard to any work, we will get them cor­rected,” said an of­fi­cial.

At the Pura­sawalkam High Road - Millers Road junc­tion, work on stormwa­ter drains has led to traf­fic con­ges­tion for the past two months as it has been taken up on both sides on an al­ter­na­tive ba­sis. The junc­tion is one of the eas­ily flooded ar­eas in the lo­cal­ity and the work has of­ten led to slush thrown out on the road.

With the on­go­ing work, the Cor­po­ra­tion has cor­doned off about 30% of the road, lead­ing to con­ges­tion as the traf­fic splits three ways at the junc­tion, say road users. Also, pedes­tri­ans find it tough to walk on the re­duced plat­form on one side and are in dan­ger of be­ing hit by heavy ve­hi­cles, es­pe­cially MTC buses that some­times are driven dan­ger­ously. Many in­te­rior roads in Kil­pauk have also been dug up, which pose a risk to mo­torists at night due to lack of il­lu­mi­na­tion of the work sites de­spite the pres­ence of street lights.

Eg­more MLA K.S. Ravichan­dran said that the fullfledged work on drains has stopped in many ar­eas in his con­stituency.

K. PICHUMANI ■

Road­side peril: Bar­ri­cades are not proper at many sites, such as this one on the Poona­malee High Road.

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