In view of the red warning issued for Chennai with the likelihood of heavy rains, the Greater Chennai Corporation has kept 689 motor pumps and 50 boats on standby, ready to be deployed in case of floods or rain-related adverse events. Out of the 689 motor pumps, 448 are owned by the civic body and the rest have been rented from private bodies and associations.
The civic body will also clear out stormwater drains blocked with plastic waste and garbage to ensure that the water drains following rains. Desilting the silt catch pits and stormwater drains will also be done to ensure that the water recedes. According to the corporation, the civic body has already spoken to the fisheries department to keep boats as reserve in case of excessive rainfall on Thursday.
A control room to track rain-related adverse events was also set up on Wednesday after a meeting held by Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi IAS. A red alert was issued in Chennai for Thursday.
Following the November 7 rains, several low-lying neighbourhoods of Chennai were flooded and motor pumps were used to remove the excess water and dry the areas. One of the worst-hit streets was Seethammal road, just off TTK road in Alwarpet. With hip-deep water, residents here faced several problems following the November 7 rains. In anticipation of heavy rains and more flooding, the corporation has already deployed four high power motor pumps on Seethammal road on Thursday.
Among other neighbourhoods which saw heavy flooding from November 7 to 12 was T Nagar, an area identified for area based smart city development under the Smart Cities Mission of the Union government. Parts of T Nagar including the main GN Chetty road, streets such as Bashyam Road, Pondy Bazaar, GN Chetty Road and smaller streets such as Bazullah street, Habibullah Street, Giri road, Usman Road, among others, were waterlogged for days together. Pondy Bazaar, where the pedestrian plaza and wider pavements under the Smart Cities Mission was built, was also inundated post the rains.
Following this, the source of the flooding was identified as blockage in the Mambalam canal. Debris from the construction work undertaken for the Smart Cities project was dumped in a 1.7 km stretch of the canal from Valluvar Kottam to GN Chetty road, blocking the water from passing through it.
With the city witnessing 20 cm of rainfall on November 7, the rainwater runoff remained on the roads, flooding the entire region. Following this, the corporation cleared the debris from the canal and began widening the waterway. Further, the stormwater drains in T Nagar were also cleared of plastic to enable runoff water to drain into them.