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WRD to pitch for riverfront development in Cooum, Adyar in Chennai

Inland Waterways Authority of India has then chosen a portion of south Buckingham canal between Sholinganallur and Kalpakkam to facilitate movement of cargo vessels and passenger vessels

January 23, 2023 09:32 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:12 am IST - CHENNAI

The Water Resources Department is looking at a stretch of the Adyar near the Thiru Vi Ka bridge for riverfront development.

The Water Resources Department is looking at a stretch of the Adyar near the Thiru Vi Ka bridge for riverfront development. | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

In an attempt to curb pollution and improve water quality, the Water Resources Department plans to pitch for riverfront development of the Cooum and the Adyar that flow through the city and also revive the project to introduce navigation in the Buckingham canal.

Many interventions are on for the eco restoration of the waterways with Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust as the nodal agency.

Various government agencies, including the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) and the Greater Chennai Corporation, are engaged in rejuvenation of the two rivers. The department has carried out desilting and widening work in the Cooum and the Adyar.

Sustainable model

Officials said the pilot programme was proposed to create a sustainable model for holistic restoration of the waterways and explore opportunities for revenue generation.

The department is looking at the upper reaches of the Cooum, which is clean and has a minimum flow for many months in the year, for boating activities. The presence of check dams, including those at Paruthipattu and Korattur, across the Cooum, will help in maintaining minimum depth of up to 2 metres in the river for riverfront development.

Similarly, a stretch of the Adyar near Manapakkam or near Thiru. Vi. Ka. bridge is being considered for the pilot project. The department is considering stretches in south Buckingham Canal for launching navigation, the officials said.

Inland Waterways Authority of India had set up office in Chennai in 2014 for implementing the National Waterway-4 project. It had then chosen the portion of south Buckingham canal between Sholinganallur and Kalpakkam to facilitate cargo vessels and passenger vessels navigate the canal. However, the project remained a non-starter.

The Water Resources Department is attempting to revive the proposal with the cooperation of the other government agencies.

“Our pilot project will complement work of the GCC and the model developed can be replicated in the other stretches of the rivers as well,” said an official.

There are plans to develop recreational facilities, parks and walking tracks along the riverbanks apart from discharging only treated sewage into the streams. The project would help identify challenges too and address them, the officials added. 

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