Chennai Corporation begins mass cleaning campaign at 12 polluted locations along city’s rivers

The campaign has been launched with support from local residents; it involves cleaning of rivers and river margins, alongside the renovation of public toilets

Published - August 17, 2023 02:03 pm IST - CHENNAI

Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan inspecting the mass cleaning campaign on South Cooum Road on Thursday, August 17, 2023 

Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan inspecting the mass cleaning campaign on South Cooum Road on Thursday, August 17, 2023  | Photo Credit: Akhila Easwaran

The Chennai Corporation has identified 12 polluted areas along waterways in the city, to launch a mass cleaning campaign, with support from local residents, to promote public health and improve monsoon preparedness, said Corporation Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan.

Launching the mass cleaning campaign on Thursday, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the civic body will take action against those who dump large quantities of waste into rivers such as the Cooum.

“We have found huge quantities of synthetic polymer materials and damaged furniture such as sofas dumped along the Cooum in Pudupet. Pollution along the river will affect public health. Local residents have been sensitised about dengue and leptospirosis. The waste dumped along the river also leads to clogging of waterways, affecting monsoon preparedness. We removed 51 loads of waste last night [August 16, 2023]. More than 50 loads will be removed today [August 17, 2023]. We will clear all areas with illegal dumping of waste along rivers on a war footing. Unidentified persons are dumping huge quantities of waste at night. We even installed cameras to identify these persons who pollute the rivers. But they have damaged the cameras,” the Commissioner said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan has also ordered officers to remove damaged cars along such stretches to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes inside vehicles. He has also directed the renovation of public toilets to prevent open defecation along rivers in areas such as Pudupet, Egmore and Chintadripet.

Pollution has been reported along RK Mutt Road and St. Mary’s Road too. Mr. Radhakrishnan said local residents have said they will maintain the public toilets and prevent pollution of the river. “There is cooperation from residents. This will be a people’s movement,” he said, adding that in addition to the 18,000 workers of the Chennai Corporation, residents have cooperated in the mass cleaning drive as well. “Along EB Link Road, 150 tonnes of waste have been removed,” the Commissioner said.

Stressing the need for the wearing of gloves by conservancy workers, Mr. Radhakrishnan said workers have been asked to take all precautions to reduce the risks to their health.  

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