Culverts being used as fences-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
CULVERTS are supposed to be installed underground as part of drainage systems to help control flood.
But in Cebu City, these expensive concrete culverts have been used as makeshift fence at the City-owned property at the North Reclamation Area.
The City could not determine yet how many 72-inch-diameter culverts surround the three-hectare Block 27 lot but according to the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), these help keep the properties inside the area safe from thieves.
City Hall bought the culverts sometime in 2010 to be used in the rechanneling or “straightening” of Mahiga Creek. It was supposed to prevent water from overflowing during heavy rains.
But the project did not push through after a businessman who owns the property where these would have been placed backed out of the agreement with City Hall.
Reviving the project
The culverts have been lying idle since then, but they may soon be put to good use with the mayor planning to pursue the project.
Guillermo Viola, general foreman of the Construction and Maintenance, Drainage Section of the DEPW, said the City planned to rechannel Mahiga Creek by constructing a waterway under the businessman’s lot in Mandaue City’s side of the NRA.
The lot owner put in writing his consent for the Cebu City Government to lay the culverts, but he changed his mind while City Hall was preparing the program of works and estimates for the project.
The owner reportedly changed his mind when heavy rains caused flooding in Metro Cebu in January 2011, particularly at the NRA when Mahiga Creek overflowed. He feared that he would have problems in his property during a heavy downpour, said Viola.
Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council operations officer Alvin Santillana explained that the Mahiga Creek overflows during heavy rains because the water backflows when it reaches Sitio San Vicente in Barangay Mabolo, where two waterways converge.
The rechanneling would have reduced the volume of water in that part of the creek, since the water would be redirected to the mouth of the Subangdaku River.
Viola said DEPW representatives visited Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes last week to seek his help in pursuing the project, since there is no other alternative in “straightening” Mahiga Creek.
Funds have been set aside for the project, which was charged to the advance tax payment of SM City Cebu.
For Mayor Michael Rama, though, the culverts did not go to waste.
“We are using it to fence Block 27 and make it safe,” he said.
But he said he will revive the discussion for the rechanneling of Mahiga Creek and study how the project can be pursued.
Documents related to the project were not available yesterday as DEPW was still busy preparing for the executive session called for by the Council to discuss the City’s drainage master plan.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2013.