Funds sought to clear weeds on urban stretches of the Cooum

Lifeline choked: The clogged stretch of the Cooum in Chintadripet in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: S.R. RAGHUNATHAN

The urban stretch of the Cooum river may be rid of the overgrown vegetation in several portions as the Water Resources Department has sought funds to carry out the task.

While the department has started desilting the channels in and around the city ahead of northeast monsoon, both the Cooum and Adyar rivers have been left out of the drive.

As part of the efforts to ensure free flow of floodwater during the monsoon, the department has planned to remove thick vegetation and desilt both the waterways in the city limits. The Cooum’s width varies from 70 metres to 250 metres in the city limits. The river bed is filled with seemai karuvelam trees (prosopis juliflora) and water hyacinth in several portions, including near Arumbakkam. Such major desilting operation was last carried out in 2017-18.

Officials said ₹2.6 crore had been sought from the State government to weed out the growth of invasive species in the river bed as part of yearly maintenance.

Such efforts were needed regularly due to sewage pollution in the river and prevent water stagnation. Garbage continues to be dumped along the river on various stretches, including Ethiraj Salai and Pudupet area, which would be cleared during the desilting exercise.

However, residents of various areas, including Nerkundram, want the department to take action against dumping of sewage and slurry from construction sites into the river.

Similarly, portions of the Adyar in the urban limits would be cleared of vegetation till the estuary.

Meanwhile, the department is coordinating with the Greater Chennai Corporation to remove nearly 2,000 encroachments along the Cooum in Aminjikarai and Arumbakkam.

Officials said the enumeration of encroachments in localities such as Bharathipuram, Gajalakshmi Colony in Aminjikarai and Radhakrishnan Nagar in Arumbakkam was under way.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 4:45:23 PM |

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