CHENNAI: The Water Resources Department has been using workers to clear weeds from a sewage filled Verangal Odai as part of the efforts to prepare the channel for monsoon. On Sunday, TOI found four men, semi-naked, wearing a plastic cover as headgear swimming in sewage to remove weeds and other vegetation in the stretch of the canal near Velachery MRTS on Velachery Bypass Road.

The canal carries surplus water from Velachery Lake to Pallikaranai Marsh. Storm water from Meenambakkam, Nanganallar, Adambakkam, Madipakkam, Puzhudhivakkam, Velachery, and Pallikaranai also drains into the canal. However, multiple drains let untrated sewage into it, transforming the water into a blackish cesspool.