Residents of Varadharajapuram and Mudichur have demanded the implementation of various measures to prevent flooding in residential areas during the upcoming northeast monsoon.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) has started constructing a check dam across the Adyar at Varadharajapuram to alleviate inundation and also supply water to Chennai. However, members of the Federation of Varadharajapuram Welfare Associations said they wanted the river near the locality to be widened and the minor water channels crossing the Outer Ring Road to be improved so that they could carry more flood water.

The federation’s president V. Rajasekaran said a canal that was built at Royappa Nagar and linked to a stormwater drain along the State Highway should be made into a cut-and-cover water channel. Moreover, portions of the channel had been closed by people to build houses, which would affect the water flow during monsoon.

Government agencies should take measures to reduce inundation and also widen the stormwater drains along the Outer Ring Road, Mr. Rajasekaran said.

Residents also wanted sewage treatment plants to be built at Mahalakshmi Nagar and Royappa Nagar to prevent pollution in the river.

Excessive runoff

WRD officials said the portion of the river near the localities has the capacity to carry about 7,000 cusecs (cubic feet of water per second).

But, it gets nearly 11,000 cusecs during peak monsoon as tributaries join the waterway. Noting that measures were being taken to reduce inundation in low lying areas such as Varadharajapuram, they said besides widening the river, steps had been taken to form canals to carry the additional flow. A few sections near Mahalakshmi Nagar and Bhuvaneswari Nagar were yet to be widened due to encroachments.

Moreover, about 40% of work on the check dam at Varadharajapuram has been completed. Tributaries of groups of tanks, including Adanur, Mannivakkam and Manimangalam join the river near the site.

Besides groundwater recharge and mitigating floods, the ₹11 crore structure will store up to 80 million cubic feet of water.

There is a proposal to transfer water to Sikkarayapuram quarries and Chembarambakkam reservoir through a 13-km pipeline to meet the needs of the city, an official said. “We will strengthen the portions of river bund that was damaged during a project taken up by local bodies before the monsoon,” he added.

Proposals have been submitted for a straight-cut canal and provide shutters at inlets where small canals join the river.

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