The Chennai Corporation may leave some neighbourhoods out of the project to develop stormwater drains, giving priority to a few areas. The civic body is unable to implement the project as funding agencies such as JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) have refused to be involved, claiming that they have focussed on other major projects such as Chennai Metrorail.
Corporation officials said they had not received funding for stormwater drains in north Chennai because JICA has spent money on development of Metrorail in north Chennai.
Officials claimed that funding by JICA of ₹10,000 crore for Metrorail and ₹3,200 crore for Intelligent Transport System in the city have caused a delay in funding for stormwater drains.
The Corporation requires ₹1,800 crore for developing stormwatwer drains in Tiruvottiyur, Manali and Madhavaram. Currently, the Corporation has divided the neighbourhoods in Kosasthalaiyar basin into six packages for development of stormwater drains. “Some packages may receive priority in funding. We may start developing stormwater drains only in such areas before next monsoon. Other areas may have to wait,” said an official.
The work on development of stormwater drains along the ECR and OMR was expected to begin a few years ago. KfW, the German development bank, was expected to fund the ₹1,407-crore project to develop 370 km of stormwater drains in 11,146 hectares in the southern parts of the city. But, the civic body is likely to get just ₹120 crore from KfW.
“Funding of at least ₹1,150 crore remains a challenge,” said an official.
As a result, work on development of stormwater drains may not begin in Pallikaranai, Sholinganallur, Narayanapuram, Ram Nagar and areas along South Buckingham Canal even after the northeast monsoon.
The State government has already written to the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India for speeding up the implementation of the project. Following the recent announcement of the Prime Minister to provide assistance for rain relief, the civic body is expected to get some additional funds for stormwater drains, officials said.