Encroachments along Coonoor River being identified to prevent flooding

One of the narrowest points of River Coonoor in Krishnapuram, where encroachments led to flooding in the surrounding areas on Sunday.  

The Revenue Department and Coonoor Municipality are inspecting a 1.5-km stretch of Coonoor River, after the river water flooded surrounding areas on Sunday.

According to municipal officials, the primary reason for flooding is the width of the river, which, at its widest point, is over 50 feet and narrows near Krishnapuram to less than 20 feet. Hence, during spells of heavy rain, the river bursts its banks and the surrounding areas are flooded.

“The problem is that the encroachments are not just by people who have constructed buildings and tenements illegally. There are even government buildings, including a toilet built by the municipality, that seem to block the river,” said an official from the Revenue Department.

A thorough inspection had been ordered by the Nilgiris Collector J. Innocent Divya to identify the causes of flooding so that they could be rectified, the official added. “Right now, we are identifying the number of encroachments, whether they belong to private individuals or to the government, and whether they are temporary or permanent structures, by comparing them with older records,” said the official. Records were also being checked to ascertain the status of the road parallel to the river.

Officials said that it was believed that the road had only been a footpath initially, and had gradually expanded to its current width, which led to the river being boxed in, between the road on one side, and numerous buildings on the other.

“There are also little crossing paths that allow people to get from one side to the other. However, some of these paths trap debris and make the scale of flooding worse during heavy rain. So, these will also be looked at, to see if they can be demolished and re-engineered in future,” said a municipal official.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:41:58 AM |

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