Chennai

Anaikattuchery residents begin online drive to save the Cooum

Crystal clean: The recent spell of rain has resulted in good flow at Putlur check dam in Tiruvallur district across the unpolluted stretch of the Cooum river.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Residents of Anaikattuchery, near Pattabiram, have launched an online campaign “Let’s drink from Cooum” to protect the unpolluted stretch of the river.

The initial 40 km of the river, which originates in Tiruvallur district, still remains largely unpolluted till it reaches Paruthipattu. It runs for 72 km before draining into the sea.

Locals said the river continued to be the main source for agriculture and drinking water needs for several villages along the banks.

A few pockets of the river upstream of Paruthipattu have started facing issues of sewage pollution. Residents said flow in the river for just three or four months helped villages such as Sorancheri, Karunakarachery, Thirumanam and Annambedu to take care of water needs throughout the year. In a bid to create awareness of the unpolluted stretch and the significance of maintaining its cleanliness, the Unpolluted Cooum River Protection Committee has started a campaign online. It plans to share more videos on the clean stretch of the Cooum and activities around the waterway.

K. Mugundhan, the committee’s coordinator, said farmers and panchayat authorities used water from the borewells sunk along the river banks for irrigation and drinking water supply.

“We want to spread awareness that the Cooum could be a source for drinking water if it is maintained properly, and sewage release is controlled. There are plans to hold programmes for children in neighbouring villages about waterbodies and the river,” he said.

The river now gets floodwater from tanks upstream. However, several waterbodies downstream, such as Vayalanellore, Kolappanchery, Kannapalayam and Mettupalayam, are yet to fill up as channels bringing water from the river have been encroached upon.

Residents demanded that sewage pollution in pockets such as Avadi Kamaraj Nagar and Putlur must be arrested and check-dams must be maintained properly.

The committee suggested that a pipeline could be laid along the banks of the unpolluted stretch of the Cooum to carry treated sewage instead of releasing it into the river.

Officials of the Water Resources Department said measures were being taken to control sewage release in areas like Putlur and allow only treated sewage. Floodwater helped flush the sewage this season. However, the cooperation of local bodies is essential in curbing pollution, officials said.

World Bank aid

“We have sought funds from the World Bank to reconstruct a dilapidated check-dam across the Cooum at Sorancheri and also improve the network of tanks, starting from Tiruninravur, and create a channel to divert water to the tanks from the Cooum,” said an official.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 2:35:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/residents-launch-campaign-to-save-cooum/article33350336.ece

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