TN govt pulls out all stops to avoid 2015 floods repeat

Tamil Nadu govt pulling out all stops to ensure no repeat of 2015 floods in Chennai

People need not harbour fears about flooding, said Commissioner of Revenue Administration, K Phanindra Reddy

A women walks under an umbrella during heavy rains as cyclone Nivar approaches the eastern Indian coast, in Chennai. Credit: AFP Photo

The Tamil Nadu government is pulling out all stops to ensure no repeat of the 2015 floods in the city, as they mounted a vigil on four reservoirs, anticipating a rapid rise in water levels in view of heavy rains forecast due to cyclone Nivar, likely to cross the state coast on Wednesday. The administration has taken necessary precautions to release the water in phases and avert flooding, as in 2015, in the event of an upsurge in the storage levels, a senior PWD department official said.

The combined storage level in the reservoirs at Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam stood at 64.15 per cent or 8.156 TMC ft against the full capacity of 12.713 TMC ft, which is slightly higher compared to the quantum two days ago. Chembarambakkam which has nearly 80 per cent water (21.22 feet against its full level capacity of 24 feet) has become a cause for concern for residents, reminding them of the 2015 deluge.

Read | Cyclone Nivar: Heavy rains lead to waterlogging across Chennai

"Even if rains were to lash the metro, owing to the approaching cyclone, causing the water to rise sharply, there should not be any threat," a senior PWD official claimed. When the issue was taken up with Commissioner of Revenue Administration, K Phanindra Reddy, he said the inflow into Chembarambakkam lake would be around 6,500 cusecs only when there are heavy rains and this can be easily diverted to Adyar river, which has a capacity to carry 60,000 cusecs water.

"People need not harbour fears about flooding," he said. Further, necessary precautions have been taken to release the water in phases and not cause flooding, as in 2015, he told reporters here. Reddy said people would be intimated in advance about the release of water from Chembarambakkam lake if the government decides to do so.