Chennai

Eviction drive on Cooum bank resumes

Torn apart:  Officials of the Water Resources Department demolishing the structures on encroached land along the Cooum bank at East Namachivayapuram, Choolaimedu, and right, residents moving out of the locality with their belongings.

Torn apart: Officials of the Water Resources Department demolishing the structures on encroached land along the Cooum bank at East Namachivayapuram, Choolaimedu, and right, residents moving out of the locality with their belongings.

After a brief gap, the Water Resources Department has resumed its drive to remove encroachments along the Cooum river in the city limits. However, opposition from residents in some areas delayed the process on Wednesday.

The department had identified nearly 172 structures to have encroached the riverbank at East Namasivayapuram near Choolaimedu. However, only 110 residents were allotted tokens to resettle in tenements constructed by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board at Perumbakkam.

Residents complained that some of their names were missing in the enumeration list and the issues related to allotment of tokens delayed the process to remove the encroachments. The drive is being carried out in the 17-km stretch between Padikuppam and the river mouth since Tuesday with the support of police. A total of 119 residents of Avvaipuram, Shenoy Nagar were given tokens to relocate to Perumbakkam on Tuesday.

Officials of the WRD said residents were helped with transporting their belongings to Perumbakkam. The riverbank running to a distance of nearly 500 m has been reclaimed in the past two days. Once the encroached structures are removed, the width of the river, which has shrunk to 30 m, is set to double, enabling free flow of water.

Wall around river bank

The river bank would be secured with a compound wall to prevent further encroachment. Work is on to clear vegetation from the river to ensure free flow of water during the northeast monsoon.

“We will begin work to strenghten the bund and dredge the riverbed once funds are allotted,” said an official.

Of about 14,000 encroachments enumerated along the river, nearly 700 have been removed so far in the city limits as part of the restoration project.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 7:39:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/eviction-drive-on-cooum-bank-resumes/article19920362.ece