Post deluge, Chennai Corporation is trying to clear the river banks, encroachments and other factors that created obstructions causing the city to flood. The PWD is reclaiming the land lost to slums, evicting dwelling along the banks and desilting the river. Building drains along the areas below sea level to stop flooding is another step taken by the PWD.
Activists point out those constructions inside the city done on water bodies include Koyambedu bus terminus, ring roads, Adyar Eco Park and several commercial compounds. While the hutments amount to only 2% of the encroachments, the concrete constructions obstruct the free flow of the water bodies.
While the Adyar river at its starting point near the Chembarambakkam reservoir is around 190m wide, it varies and narrows down as it makes its way through the city to 60m in places like Saidapet. The Government has estimated a cost of Rs 28 crore for this project of eviction and fencing of the river bank to avoid return of encroachments. With assembly elections approaching, the question is whether the eviction will be done forcefully.
The city planners need to go through the data on sea level and water flows and the flood character of the topography before constructing. Laser terrain maps and study on the run off pattern of the rain water would help. All these at least to avoid a disaster in future.