Chennai

Crucial decision made: Between Andhra and Tamil Nadu

Northwards, no!

So valued was the free-flowing Cooum in those days that when the demand to carve out an Andhra State from the Madras Presidency became a chorus in the mid and late 1950s, some Andhra legislators who met in Memorial Hall, Park Town, decided that the areas north of the Cooum should constitute the new State.


According to a report in The Hindu, A. Rami Reddi, MLA, expressed the view that the portion north of the Cooum should go to Andhra. That is one demand though that did not quite come through, and today, the Cooum, and the lands immediately north of it continue to be part of Chennai.

In full flush

In 1954, the Public Works Department took up ‘experimental work’ to connect the sea with the mouth of the Cooum river in order to flush it with seawater.

The Hindu has reported this plan to make it a tidal river in great detail, while talking of a minor accident to the workers who were laying the pipelines when a huge wave struck them down. The work consists of “laying a pipe on the sands of the foreshore to a length of nearly 150 feet reaching up to the water’s edge and thereafter the pipeline branches off into two arms of between 16 and 20 feet, one inclined towards the north-east, and the other towards the south-east, to take in seawater during the two monsoons.”

It further states: “When the work is completed, the authorities expect that it will be possible to draw seawater into the Cooum and allow the waters of the Cooum to flow into the sea at varying tides.”

Even today, it remains a Himalayan struggle to keep the mouth of the Cooum open, and dredge the sand bars that silt up its outlet into the sea.



Madras Week: Thus Spake Cooum

>Tracing the sacred roots of a river

The 18 century philanthropist Pachaiyappa Mudaliyar would bathe in my waters and then proceed to worship Lord Komaleeswarar.

>Artists' walk documents the many facets of Cooum

A group of artists had captured these facets of the Cooum river as they set out on a journey along the waterway.

>Institutions pitch innovative solutions for cleaning Cooum

A city grew on the banks of the Cooum, but did you know that they have been sites of the clash of civilisations?

>Celebrating Madras Week

Over years, Chennai’s own river, the banks on which Madras arose, 376 years ago next week, has meandered on, stoic in the face of the assaults on it.

>Madras thrived on her banks

A group of history enthusiasts has brought a fresh perspective to the image of the river.

>The scene of great battles

A city grew on the banks of the Cooum, but did you know that they have been sites of the clash of civilisations?

>For them, Cooum is not synonymous with sewer

The Cooum, as strange as it might sound to some, still remains a lifeline to many villages in Tiruvallur district.

>Cooum snippets

In the first-person account that follows, one R. Premsingh writes, “I wish to draw the attention of the Corporation authorities to the stinking smell emitted by the Cooum river.”

>Cooum: Madras' engine of growth

Nearly everything that was and is notable in the city took root along my banks, from the houses of the powerful to the centres of commerce

>Staving off the sewage threat in Cooum

Chennai Metrowater seems to be trying to actualise the big dream of cleaning Cooum river through small steps.

>What's in a name?

A group of history enthusiasts has brought a fresh perspective to the image of the river.

>When crocodiles swam free in Cooum

If you walked by the Cooum about a 100 years ago, you may just have spotted the Cooum crocodile

>Cooum: High tide of artistic expression

From cinemas and bookstores to theatre performances and architectural marvels, I have witnessed this great city reaching new creative heights over many decades.

>Chennai Corporation to play a key role in Cooum makeover

Following a resolution by the Chennai Corporation Council this summer, the civic body is set to do a study on the restoration of heritage landscape along the Cooum river.

>On Islands Grounds and the Cooum

Do you know that Island Grounds owes its name to the Cooum?

>My waters nurtured centres of learning

The Directorate of Public Instruction on my bank laid the foundation for most of the schools and colleges in the city

>The river never found its place in Tamil cinema

The Cooum has always been portrayed as filthy and as a garbage dump yard.

>Crucial decision made: Between Andhra and Tamil Nadu

So valued was the free-flowing Cooum in those days that there was a demand to carve out an Andhra State from the Madras Presidency in the mid and late 1950s.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 11:05:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/crucial-decision-made-between-andhra-and-tamil-nadu/article7566568.ece

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