Cooum riverfront to get a makeover in three years

Corporation begins work at areas not requiring CRZ clearance

Updated - December 30, 2016 07:07 am IST

Published - December 30, 2016 12:18 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Cooum riverfront is likely to get yet another makeover. After a delay, the Greater Chennai Corporation has started work on developing a 23-km-long fence along the Cooum River.

Owing to a delay in getting CRZ clearance for the Integrated Cooum River Ecorestoration Projects, the civic body has decided to start work in areas that do not require CRZ clearance. Senior officials of Greater Chennai Corporation have recently visited other parts of the country to study aspects of riverfront development such as Sabarmati Riverfront.

“We have started work along a 200-metre length of the Cooum river in Rail Nagar near Padi Kuppam Road. The work will be completed in three years,” said an official.

Officials are also studying Sabarmati Riverfront, covering aspects including riverfront market, amusement park, exhibition centre, sports complex, events ground and urban forest.

Work on parks along five locations and four walkways will also be implemented shortly. “The fence development project was expected to begin in 2015 after removing 14,000 encroachments. But many of the encroachments are yet to be removed,” said an official.

The fence is estimated at Rs.40 crore and the parks will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs.11 crore. Chennai Corporation officials are planning to conduct brain storming sessions to implement riverfront development of the Cooum. The civic body will start public consultations with local residents of neighbourhoods before finalising the riverfront makeover.

Work on a 9.6-km stretch of the river from Chetpet bridge to the river mouth will not begin owing to the delay in CRZ clearance for eco restoration.

Work order for eight parks was issued at an estimated cost of Rs. 39 crore a few years ago. But the work has not yet started in many areas. The Water Resources Department (WRD) has started cleaning stretches of the river, demarcating boundaries for development of the fence.

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