Chennai: The State Coastal Zone Management Authority has approved the Chennai Corporation’s plan to construct a rainwater drain on the east coast of the Kovalam wetlands.
The Chennai Corporation has decided to construct a 306 km long Integrated Rainwater Drainage System at a cost of Rs 1,243 crore in the Chennai Kovalam drainage area. In this, 52 km long rainwater drainage is to be constructed at a cost of 309 crore rupees in the areas of Palavakkam, Kottivakkam, Neelangarai, Enghampakkam, Choshinganallur, Kanathur and Uthandi.
These areas fall under the East Coast region. The local residents objected to the stormwater drainage structure, claiming that the area has a natural rainwater absorption landscape. In this regard, a case was also filed in the Southern Session of the National Green Tribunal.
In this case, the tribunal constituted a committee comprising the Central Environment Department, Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Commission, National Marine Research Institute, Chennai Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Public Works Department to study the project. As per the recommendation of this committee, the tribunal ordered that no storm water drains can be constructed without the permission of the Coastal Regulatory Authority.
Pursuant to the Tribunal’s order, the Chennai Corporation applied to the State Coastal Zone Management Authority seeking permission for the project. After considering these, the Commission has given permission to carry out rainwater drainage structure as per the recommendation of Tiruppugal Committee, rainwater drainage design given in the Green Tribunal.
Following this, an application has been made for permission from the Central Coastal Regulatory Authority. Chennai Municipal Corporation officials said that if the regulatory authority also gives permission, the construction of rainwater drains will be started in the 3rd project area of Kovalam watershed area.