The eco-restoration of Cooum river, the polluted waterway running across the city, is all set to begin in earnest.
Addressing the Assembly on Monday on the demands concerning Municipal Administration and Water Supply, Municipal Administration Minister K.P. Munusamy said that the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT) is set to complete a detailed project report by November this year after which work will be started. The stretch of the waterway between Paruthipattu anicut near Avadi and the river mouth will be cleaned.
Besides identifying projects to reduce pollution, the eco-restoration project aims to explore possibility of navigation in the river. A coordinated approach by various departments would be sought to reduce pollution in the waterway and also plug the sewage outfalls and prevent dumping of garbage.
Mangrove plantations will be set up in Cooum estuary near Island grounds to minimise pollution and also revive biological diversity in the waterway. There are also plans to create river front development such as parks and walkways in urbanised stretches.
An integrated eco-restoration plan has been chalked out for the Adyar river too. The CRRT has invited expression of interest from consultants to prepare an integrated plan for Adyar river from its origin near Chembarambakkam reservoir to Thiru. Vi. Ka bridge, for the third phase.
An eco park has been created and 58 acres of the Adyar creek was restored in the first phase. The eco-park houses an environmental education centre and nursery for plants. Nearly 31,000 students have visited the eco-park, which functions as a centre for environmental education.
In the second phase, the restoration plan is further being expanded. The scope of eco-park would be extended to 300 acres from eastern side of Thiru. Vi. Ka. bridge to the river mouth and northern part of the creek extending up to Santhome causeway. Studies are being carried out to get statutory clearance from State coastal zone management authority. In phase three, remaining stretch of the river would be covered under the eco restoration plan.