THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) confirmed on Thursday, August 16, that it has ongoing negotiations with the Limketkai property owners as the planned drainage system will run through a part of the Limketkai property.
Engineer Leowald Pecore, DPWH-Northern Mindanao project engineer, said initially, Limketkai turned down their proposal and refused to allow the government build an underground tunnel along their property.
The tunnel will supposedly connect the drainage from the Bitan-Ag creek at the Limketkai property, and would traverse CM Recto Avenue, including the university in front of it, and Agora Road, all the way to the port area, and onto the sea.
He said another problem is that the city government cannot find the documents to support claims that the said property was already turned over to the government in the 1980s.
Pecore said the government cannot expropriate the property because it does not know whether the property is public or private.
“Kung ma-connect nato ning sa Bitan-ag, mo lessen na ang baha sa Ketkai area (If we can connect the tunnel to Bitan-ag, the flood will be lessened in the Ketkai area).
Ang baha gyud pirmi pa sya kung dili nato makompleto ang mga outlets na atong gipatuman ug kining pag lessen sa paglabay sa basura (The flood will always happen if we do not complete all the outlets of our projects, and also we need to lessen our garbage too),” he said.
Pecore said one of the concerns that Limketkai raised during the talks is the maintenance of the drainage which is sure to get clogged up with trash.
“But of course, for our part, we can answer that, we can clean it manually or mechanically,” he said.
In January last year, a neck-deep flood was experienced along CM Recto Avenue and in the Limketkai area too.
Weather forecasters called it “urban flooding” or the inundation of land or property in a built environment, particularly in more densely populated areas, caused by rainfall overwhelming the capacity of drainage systems, like storm sewers.
The urban flood was yet again experienced during the Typhoon Vinta and another incident in June this year.
Inadequate sizes of drainage and channels, drainage silted and blocked by garbage, tidal influence on low-lying areas, and unregulated river runoff are among the causes of flooding that the DPWH cites and continues to address.