A 1.1-km stretch of land alongside the Cooum between Napier bridge and Periyar bridge near the new Assembly Complex, has been handed over to the Corporation by the Public Works Department for beautification.

Addressing mediapersons at a function organised to mark the land alienation on Swami Sivananda Salai on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister M.K.Stalin said “An MoU will be signed with Singapore Cooperation Enterprise for obtaining technical assistance for making an integrated plan for restoration of Chennai’s waterways.”

“The auto spare parts merchants in Pudupet on the banks of the Cooum will also be relocated,” said Mr.Stalin.

Officials added that the proposed relocation is to facilitate the beautification project and construction of an elevated expressway from Chennai port to Maduravoyal. They said a total of 16,000 encroachments have been identified along the river bank. A 22-acre Auto Nagar would be built in Maraimalainagar to accommodate the auto spare part merchants who would be displaced, Mr.Stalin added. An encroachment on the land in Maraimalainagar was recently removed to facilitate the construction of the facility, he said. According to officials, around 460 auto spare part merchants would be allotted land in the Auto Nagar.

Chennai Corporation has already begun work on creating a park along Langs Garden Road at a cost of Rs.1.27 crore. The land was handed over to the civic body in December, he said. “The Government has decided to provide alternative accommodation for all people who will be displaced on account of the restoration drive of the Cooum,” the Deputy Chief Minister added.

PWD Principal Secretary S. Ramasundaram, Coordinator for Cooum Sub-basin Restoration and Management Project K. Phanindra Reddy, Mayor M.Subramanian and Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni participated.