Chennai

For them, Cooum is not synonymous with sewer

A file picture of the anaicut at Keshavaram, about 60 km from Chennai. — Photo: The Hindu Archives  

The Cooum, as strange as it might sound to some, is not a smelly sewer all through its course. It still remains a lifeline to many villages in Tiruvallur district.

The pristine pure water upstream of Paruthipattu check-dam, near Avadi, is sure to evoke envy among Chennai residents.

The river here is still a source for drinking water irrigation. With the threat of pollution looming large even over these stretches, residents of six panchayats that depend on the Cooum river formed Unpolluted Cooum Protection Committee two years ago.

Karunagaranchery panchayat president R.V. Bhakthavatchalam recalls how they rallied together and fought a legal battle in National Green Tribunal to prevent release of treated sewage from Thirumazhisai through pipeline to Anaikattucheri.

Now, the pipeline has been proposed to be laid downstream of the polluted stretch near Avadi. K. Mugundhan, the committee’s coordinator, says the panchayats of Soranchery, Annampedu, Kannapalayam, Thirumanam and Chitarkadu have dug borewells near the river bed to draw drinking water.

“Our village (Soranchery) alone consumes nearly one lakh litres of water daily. Several farmers who cultivate brinjal and paddy also depend on the river,” he says.

The committee members suggest that water from these parts of the river can be used to meet the city’s needs.

Construction of check-dams will help store water that otherwise drains into the sea.



Madras Week: Thus Spake Cooum

>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?

>

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:19:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/for-them-cooum-is-not-synonymous-with-sewer/article7548410.ece

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