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PWD to repair city reservoirs soon

K.Lakshmi

The project to be taken up in a phased manner and implemented over three years

— File Photo

The Poondi reservoir is one of the four waterbodies where long-pending improvement works are to be taken up shortly.

CHENNAI: The Water Resources Department, a wing of the Public Works Department, will soon take up work to repair the four reservoirs that are crucial to meet the water needs of city. It has been over a decade since any major work was taken up in these waterbodies.

Officials of the WRD said a government order sanctioning funds is expected in about a month. Besides strengthening the bund in the reservoirs at Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam, the damaged shutters would also be repaired.

A comprehensive report detailing the works, at an estimated cost of Rs.80 crore, was submitted to the government sometime ago. With the estimate revised to the current schedule of rate, including labour charges, the project cost has escalated to nearly Rs.100 crore, an official said.

The project would be taken up in a phased manner and implemented over three years. “We are prioritising the works that need to be addressed immediately. Vulnerable points of the reservoirs would be fenced to avoid misuse of the waterbodies,” the official said.

The damaged portions of the road on the bund would also be repaired as part of the project. The capacity of the reservoirs would be increased by at least two feet. The first phase of the project, on which Rs.20 crore is to be spent, would be completed in six months.

Previously Chennai Metrowater used to fund the maintenance of the waterbodies. However, with the water agency becoming cash-strapped over the past few years, the WRD has sought funds from the State government.

On why the entire water spread area of the reservoirs was not covered by bund, an official said this was to allow flow of rainwater into them from the neighbouring catchment areas. But, with several residential localities mushrooming in the periphery of the reservoirs, those portions would also be fenced in the next phase.

Officials of the Chennai Metrowater said that an ongoing minor work worth Rs.8 lakh was funded by the water agency to repair shutters in Poondi reservoir.

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