A public consultation meeting that was to be held on Wednesday on the eco-restoration of the Adyar river was cancelled due to protests over lack of public participation.
Organised by Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT), the meeting was to discuss details collated during field reviews on the Adyar and get suggestions for preparation of a master plan for the third phase of the river’s restoration.
However, the meeting, which began late, lasted only for half-an-hour as a section of representatives from non-governmental organisations protested over the lack of enough public participation as only a handful of residents and representatives from NGOs were there.
Even as a presentation on the observations made during the field review was on, several people demanded that the meeting be rescheduled with better public participation.
S.K.Shiva, state committee member of Tamil Nadu Theendamai Ozhipu Munnani, who staged a walkout from the meeting, complained that no proper announcement was made prior to the meeting. Hundreds of families, who may be affected in the process of eco-restoration, have to be consulted, he added.
However, V. Kalaiarasan, project officer in CRRT, said there were no plans for resettling people along the banks of Adyar river. As there was not adequate public participation, the meeting would be held at a later date.
While the first two phases of the project focussed on the restoration of the Adyar creek, the third phase aims to cover the entire 42-km stretch of the Adyar river from its origin near Adanur tank close to Mannivakkam to the river’s mouth.
Besides preparing plans to improve water quality, the master plan would also have projects for river front development. Representatives of Spanish technical consultant LKS India Limited were present at the meeting.