WD News: The ongoing integrated storm water drain project in the Kosasthalaiyar and Kovalam river basins is noisy, with the levels ranging between 67 decibels and 73 decibels in most of the locations. The normal levels are below 55 decibels in residential areas and 75 decibels in industrial areas.
A report prepared by Greater Chennai Corporation for the Asian Development Bank about the social and environmental impact of the project found various failings.
A majority of the 200 complaints received related to structural damages, utilities disruption, poor backffing, public discomfort, stagnant water in trenches, inadequate barricading, safe access, hazards, spoils management, noise pollution, tree cutting, loss of access to their homes and parking woes. While 90% of the 200 complaints were resolved, many more continue to pour in.
Against the tender rule mandating environmental engineers to be deployed at every site and submit the environment management plan every month, the study found this was not done in 25% of the 46 worksites. While experts say noise levels above 75 decibels can impact hearing and cause impairments, water quality checks showed increased turbidity in water bodies due to silt and high calcium carbonate concentration.
While the Rs 2,470 crore project, aimed at mitigating problems of flooding in Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Anna Nagar and Ambattur, began in 2021 and is being carried out at 46 locations, the progress is between 4% and 30% in most places.
A representative of Royal HaskoningDHV, the project management consultant, said an initial environmental examination became the baseline data. “We insisted that contractors conduct water, air, noise and other social impact assessments and submit reports. About 75% are doing it now after their bill payments were stopped,” he said.
Source & image courtesy: Times of India