GCC asked to submit report on SWD issues
In response to an affidavit filed by the East Kamaraj Nagar Residents Welfare Association with the National Green Tribunal, on the sewage and flooding issues of the locality, the Tribunal has asked the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to file a report on the issue status by Nov.30.
The GCC told the Tribunal that they, in coordination with the other departments including the Highways Department, were planning on a permanent solution for the problem raised by the RWA, and requested 6-8 months of time to complete the coordination with other departments. The Tribunal asked the GCC to file a status report, with details on action taken, project report, funds sanctioned and timeline for completing the work.
The RWA, in their case, had requested to:
- Connect the stormwater drains (SWD) of Radhakrishnan Nagar directly to Buckingham Canal without entering East Kamaraj Nagar; Ensure that the SWDs in East Kamaraj Nagar (North) are connected to the Buckingham Canal to prevent flooding in East Kamaraj Nagar during monsoons.
- Fix sewage leak into SWD.
- Remove the dead BSNL cables inside SWDs, to allow free flow of water
- Rectify the gradient of SWD.
Following this, the Tribunal sought responses from Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), GCC and Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB).
The GCC replied that:
- There is no SWD connectivity from Radhakrishnan Nagar to East Kamaraj Nagar (North). The flooding was because the locality is a low-lying area (almost 2-3 ft below Kalakshetra Main Road and Thiruvalluvar Salai of ECR), and thus all run-off gets accumulated there, necessitating pumping out of water, despite SWD.
- The old SWD at the Thiruvanmiyur LB Road signal was in a dilapidated state, thus hampering free flow of water. However, GCC resolved the issues of telecom cables and high tension wires and relaid the SWD. GCC has also agreed to study the functioning of the SWD network in West Kamaraj Nagar area and evolve suitable designs.
The CMWSSB stated that:
- The sewage outfalls have been plugged and the existing sewage system is adequate to ensure no overflow of sewage into SWDs.
- The mixing of sewage occurred in the months of Oct – Dec, 2021, due to unprecedented rains, when rainwater entered into the sewage system, leading to backflow of sewage. However, the same was resolved by CMWSSB and no issue of mixing was reported since.
- Some of the illegal sewer connections were plugged on being notified. GCC has been informed that some of the commercial establishments on L.B.Road were letting out sewage into SWD illegally, despite having a sewer connection.
- Three of the machine holes, which were in dilapidated conditions, were fixed.
- Despite BSNL cables running through the SWD, it is frequently desilted to ensure free flow.
The TNPCB observed:
- Crisscrossing BSNL cables would hamper flow of water in case floatable solid waste got stuck over the cables. BSNL claims that the laid cables pre-date the SWD and thus the responsibility of the proper construction of SWD lies with the GCC, but the cables have to be rerouted after construction of SWD.
- SWD at Kamaraj Nagar was found to be at a lower level with respect to the L.B.Road – ECR, necessitating pumping out of water. GCC, however, must maintain gradients based on the topography of the region and the study conducted for the same. A new study to verify the gradient and take corrective measures was also suggested.
- Though no sewage water was found in the SWDs, CMWSSB has been instructed to ensure flow of sewage to treatment plants.