The Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT) has asked the Chennai Corporation to chalk out an action plan to remove construction debris dumped on the banks of the Cooum River.

This is in response to the gradual decrease in the width of the river in the city limits on account of the large-scale dumping of the debris.

The CRRT has also asked the civic body to keep vigil and take measures to prevent the dumping of construction debris by private entities. CRRT voiced its concern over the dumping to the Corporation at a recent meeting organised in the presence of the officials of the Public Works Department.

However, the civic body is yet to make a decision in this regard. It is of the view that the PWD has to shoulder the responsibility of preventing the dumping of the debris as it is the landowning agency.

The Chennai Corporation last year started mass cleaning of the Cooum river as part of the project to restore rivers in Chennai. Corporation workers also organised awareness campaigns for over 70,000 people residing along the Cooum.

As the cleaning programme was restricted to collection of garbage, the dumping of construction debris continued unabated on the banks of the Cooum, a few officials who participated in the meeting said.

The civic body has been removing construction debris from roads.

However, a chunk of the debris is being dumped on the river bank by private entities. The river flows through three corporation zones – Kilpauk, Nungambakkam and Triplicane – in the city for a total length of 16 km. According to officials of the CRRT, in areas such as Pudupet, Aminjikarai and Choolaimedu the river width has decreased.

In the event of Chennai Corporation deciding to remove the debris, the material would be used for creating approach roads inside its dumping grounds.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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