CHENNAI: In yet another attempt to clean the severely polluted Cooum river, as many as five departments would work in tandem to take up the projects planned under the Intergrated Cooum River Eco-Restoration Plan from May.
The Water Resources Department of the PWD, Chennai Metro Water, Corporation of Chennai, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and Chennai River Restoration Trust will participate in the massive clean-up drive, said an official. The Municipal Administration and Water Supply department had issued an order sanctioning `604.77 crore to implement over 60 short-term projects.
According to a water resources department official, biometric survey to enumerate over 14,200 families living along the banks between Parathipattu Anaicut to Chetpet is likely to get over by next month, and the resettlement process would begin once the school vacation starts.
He said the families would be relocated to Ezhil Nagar and Perumbakkam. “Those evicted from the slums would be provided with good quality houses and other facilities like schools, ration cards etc. They will be given skills training to enable them to have sustainable livelihood,” the WRD official said.
The department would build a baby canal in the middle of the river for a distance of 18 km from Parathipattu Anaicut to Chetpet, added the official.
A senior official from the Chennai Metro Water told City Express that the agency is planning to build about four-six small sewage treatment plants along the banks of Cooum that would treat sewage let out the cleansed water into the Baby Canal.
In most part of the year, flow in Cooum is mainly due to discharge of treated, partially treated and untreated sewage through outfalls, resulting in accumulation of large quantity of sludge and formation of sandbar in the mouths of the rivers.
“The canal will be carrying the water treated from Metro water sewage treatment plants, which would be coming up along the banks. But beyond Chetpet, we won’t be able to provide the baby canal as it is prone to high tides,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the Water Resources Department would dredge and widen the river. “We will also have slopes along the river banks where there are plans to have river banks vegetation improvement. We will be growing trees along the banks,” the WRD official said.
The Chennai Corporation would fence the river banks and set up parks there. The landscape planners of CRRT would help to beautify the banks.
There is also a Mangrove Development Plan for the mouth of the Cooum River and surrounding the Island Grounds to act as flood buffers and bio-barriers against storms and high tides thus saving the coast. They will withstand salinity, wave action and can grow in poor soils thus preventing ground water pollution.
- As per Intergrated Cooum River Eco-Restoration Plan:
- Well-defined and designed landscape along the banks
- 24 new parks and 22 new walkways connecting it
- Plans for cycle tracks
- 337 - total outfalls polluting Cooum
- 51 outfalls plugged so far
- 128 outfalls more by January, 2016