Third phase of Adyar eco-restoration to begin soon

A stretch from Thiru Vi Ka bridge to a little further upstream the Kotturpuram bridge falls under CRZ.

A stretch from Thiru Vi Ka bridge to a little further upstream the Kotturpuram bridge falls under CRZ.   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

Project involves rejuvenation of a 40-km portion of the river from Thiru Vi Ka bridge to Adhanur lake

Decks have been cleared for the third phase of Adyar river eco-restoration, and work on a few components are likely to begin this month.

After development of the Adyar Poonga and the estuary, the third phase of the project involves restoration of a 40-km portion of the Adyar river from the Thiru Vi Ka bridge to the Adhanur lake. Of this, a stretch of 2.8 km, from the Thiru Vi Ka bridge to a little further upstream the Kotturpuram bridge, falls under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), and requires clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

On August 19, the Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEF, dealing with CRZ, approved 13 components, except the component involving opening of the river mouth and removal of sand bars deposited.

Appreciating the Chennai Rivers’ Restoration Trust for reviving ecology in the estuary and the good work in the first two phases, the committee observed that the proposal to restore 42-km of the river was a welcome initiative by the State government.

Officials of the Water Resources Department said it would soon take up the component to desilt the river bed in the CRZ area. “Besides removing the silt deposits, we also plan to build retaining walls along the river in locations that are vulnerable to floods. Work may begin in a fortnight,” said an official.

Riverfront development is another component. Floating docks will come up in two locations — Kotturpuram and Dr. Radhakrishna Puram — with two parking lots. It also involves plantation of trees, shrubs, creepers, reeds, mangroves and grass all along the river bank. The committee recommended that native mangroves be planted and a conservation plan be implemented immediately. Maintenance of channels and pathways are also part of the plan.

Detailed study

The committee, however, pointed out that the proposal to keep the mouth open could lead to changes in the ecological nature of the area. It sought for a detailed study on the impact on ecology near the estuary and turtle nesting site in Besant Nagar, across different seasons, by institutions like the National Institute of Ocean Technology, before taking up this particular component.

WRD officials said though they were engaged in removing silt in the Adyar river mouth before the onset of northeast monsoon, it was only done as maintenance work. The project would involve dredging at a depth and hence, a detailed study was sought, an official said.

Chennai Metrowater has planned to set up seven modular sewage treatment plants (STPs) in various capacities in places including Adyar, Kotturpuram, Ekattuthangal and Guindy. Of the 395 kilo litres per day to be treated at the STPs, nearly 336 kld would be used to water plantations in parks and along river banks. Officials of the WRD said work to construct STPs and discharge treated sewage into the river must begin simultaneously for better restoration.

The committee stipulated that the modular STPs should be removed within one year of commissioning of another STP under construction.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 7:29:14 PM |

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