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Bicycle track along Cooum River proposed

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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Network to span 32 km; Chetpet, Anna Nagar residents will be able to cycle to Marina

For beautyThe bicycle track is part of a series of projects planned for the eco-restoration of Cooum. The Chennai Corporation will help develop the track —Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
For beautyThe bicycle track is part of a series of projects planned for the eco-restoration of Cooum. The Chennai Corporation will help develop the track —Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

A network of bicycle tracks has been planned along the banks of the Cooum River in the city, as part of the State government’s plans to ecologically restore the river and its banks.

The Chennai River Restoration Trust, a State government-constituted body, has proposed the construction of a 32-km-long network of bicycle tracks with assistance from the Chennai Corporation. The tracks will be earmarked along the river’s banks on a strip of land ranging from 2 to 18 metres in width. The civic body will develop the tracks based on a report prepared for the eco-restoration of Cooum.

A few months ago, the State government commissioned a study to restore the river. The study confirmed the feasibility of the development of bicycle tracks as per the existing norms of Coastal Regulation Zones.

If developed, the tracks will provide a safe commute option for cyclists. Those who live in areas such as Koyambedu, Anna Nagar, Aminjikarai, Chetpet and Egmore will be able to use bicycles to reach Marina Beach through the network.

Other plans under the project include developing 24 new parks and 50 sites with river bank vegetation. Small businesses that encourage handicrafts will be allowed to set up shops there. There are also plans to create view points and 22 walkways.

The total project cost for the river front development, of which the bicycle track is one component, has been estimated initially at Rs. 282.82 crore. Works such as major drain improvement, sewage management, river channel improvement and resettlement will be handled by other departments such as the Water Resources Department, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and Chennai Metrowater.

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