The Chennai Metropolitan and Water Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSS), Metrowater is using the intense lockdown as an opportunity for cleaning manholes in a 510 km radius across the city.
Generally the Metrowater board needs to get permission from corporation, police, revenue department and other agencies to reroute traffic from the streets to clean up the manholes and remove sewage.
The busy Anna Nagar here alone has 1,321 manholes which are located along bus routes, apart from a large number in the non-bus routes, according to the Metrowater.
A senior official of the Metrowater told IANS: “With the lockdown going on, we are in a position to undertake cleaning of manhole of sewage, as well as desilting and we are making use of this opportunity to the maximum.”
The work, according to Metrowater will not affect commuters in any manner. The CMWSSB or Metrowater is planning to clean all the 15 areas of Chennai before the stringent lockdown ends or within a week whichever is the earliest.
Twenty-eight desilting machines and 18 jet rodding machines will be put in service round the clock to clear the manholes of any blocks and remove the sludge in them.
The Metrowater official also said that with the monsoon round the corner and the manholes not cleaned, the city may have to face flood-like situation and stagnation of water will alleviate health issues amid the already Covid crisis still on.
The city has not undertaken such a massive cleaning drive before earlier ones only happened after complaints were received.