A team from Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) will be in Chennai on Tuesday to present proposals to the State Government to prepare a conceptual master plan for Cooum sub-basin restoration and management.

The government recently signed a memorandum of understanding with SCE to promote co-operation and collaboration in beautification of the Cooum river.

A high-level committee meeting, chaired by Deputy Chief Minister M. K. Stalin, was held in the city on Monday to review the progress of the project.

Sources said the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT) has requested the Chennai Corporation to conduct a one-time mass cleaning programme along the banks of Cooum and place adequate number of bins facing the road to prevent people from dumping garbage.

A source in CRRT said “We have studied locations including Koyambedu, Naduvankarai, Aminjikarai, Anna Nagar, Chetpet, Spurtank Road and Pudupet. People living along the banks need to be encouraged to use the bins,” he said.

The Trust has circulated a questionnaire among various local bodies along the Cooum for details about solid waste management facilities. “We are trying to identify the gaps and provide technical assistance and arrange funds for projects,” the source said.

As regards sewage outfalls into the river, in the last few months seven have been plugged by the Chennai Metrowater. The water agency had been asked to plug 113 outfalls in the Cooum river, and Virugambakkam and Trustpuram canals.

“The agency will need two years for implementing this. These are outfalls on which action can be taken immediately. Other outfalls are being validated and will soon join the list,” the source added.

The Revenue Department was also asked to expedite resettlement process of the auto market in Pudupet to the newly identified locations at Appur and Perumalthangal near Singaperumal Koil.

Of the nearly-14,500 persons living along the Cooum river, from its mouth to Padi Kuppam identified for rehabilitation, about 920 of them have been resettled, the sources said.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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