As Chennai continues to receive heavy rainfall, the Water Resources Department (WRD) opened the floodgates of Chembarambakkam and Red Hills lakes on Tuesday (January 5). It has decided to release 500 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the water bodies.
The water in Chembarambakkam lake, according to officials, has reached almost the full capacity — it has touched 23 feet against the maximum level of 24 feet. The WRD said it might increase the discharge “depending on the inflow.”
It added that flood warning has been issued to downstream areas of the lake and along Adyar river, including Kavanur, Kundrathur and Tiruneermalai.
The water level at the Red Hills lake is also swelling, receiving inflow of nearly 1,500 cusecs. “We have decided to let out 500 cusecs into the surplus course as the reservoir has 3,206 million cubic feet of water against its capacity of 3,300 mcft. Flood warning notice has been provided to areas such as Vadakarai, Puzhal, Kosapur and Manali,” a WRD official said.
Poondi reservoir has also been open for two days and approximately 480 cusecs of water was being discharged into the Kosasthalaiyar river.
The heavy rains caused water-logging in many low-lying areas and arterial roads of Chennai.
According to weather stations, as of Tuesday (January 5) from 8.30am to 12 noon, Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam received 2 cm and 4 cm of rain respectively ; the automatic rain gauges in Maduranthakam and Hindusthan University in Chengalpet district each recorded 6 cm of rain till 8.30 am; Taramani, Kelambakkam, Kolapakkam and Anna University in and around Chennai and Tindivanam in Villupuram district received 5 cm, and Tambaram with received 4 cm of rains.
The Meteorological Department has said there will be moderate to heavy rains in Chennai and neighbouring districts — Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Ranipet, till Wednesday (January 6), adding a forecast of intermittent rain January 10 (Sarurday)
Chennai’s weatherman Pradeep John said Tamil Nadu has received 22mm rainfall, surpassing in four days the normal amount, which is 18mm.
In 2015, bureaucratic delay in opening the sluice gates at the Chembarambakkam Lake led to heavy flooding in several parts of Chennai, which even claimed many lives. However, the Public Works Department (PWD) denied the charges and said that it had opened the gates on time