Cooum River

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Once known as ‘Thames of South India’, the highly polluted and toxic Cooum river flows through several areas of the Chennai city. The narrow, slow and meandering 65 km long Cooum river, once a freshwater source, originates in a village of the same name in neighbouring Tiruvalluvar district and ends in the city. It almost bisects the city. At present the river faces a number of problems like excessive use of water for irrigation upstream, inadequate sewage collection, industrial pollution, encroachments along the banks and closure of the river mouth due to littoral drift. In 2015, the Water Resources Department started cleaning some stretches of the river as part of the ambitious Integrated Cooum River Eco-Restoration Plan.