The dangerous rise of Adyar river

Chennai at greater risk of flooding as height of the river has increased haphazardly due to rampant dumping of construction debris and garbage over the last 30 years, warns expert.

Published: 15th May 2019 02:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2019 02:41 PM   |  A+A-

Adyar river

A view of the Adyar river (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Due to repeated dumping of construction debris and garbage along Adyar in the last nearly 30  years, the height of the river has increased haphazardly.

S Janakarajan, an expert in the field of water bodies, has put together a graph which shows that  Adyar river has risen 18-20 metres in height near Airport and Thiruneermalai because of this.

At places such as Ekkaduthangal, Anakaputhur and Manimangalam where the river’s height has increased by 1518 metres, dumping of solid waste and debris happens almost on a daily basis,  said locals. Residents at Thiruneermalai recalled that during 2015, flood water from Adyar river entered their houses and reached the first floor of their apartments.

With the help of a GPS Visualizer, information of the river’s elevation at different points in the city from Adyar till Manimangalam was traced. Experts said due to sewage contamination, the river gets polluted and murky in nature and with debris and solid waste deposits, the river rises up easily even with mild rainfall.

“Though we do not know the original height of this river, it is obvious that there has been variations in elevations over the years. And these are not natural in nature. When the second runway was created, all the leftover construction debris was dumped on the banks of the river. Because of this, in case of heavy rainfall in future, places like Thiruneermalai and Anakaputhur, around outer ring road will be submerged,” he said.

The only solution to avoid the flooding of Adyar river is to stop the dumping of waste, removal of existing solid waste thorough desilting and widening of the river. Near Indian Coast Guard Air station, Jafferkhanpet, and Burma Colony near MGR Nagar at Ekkaduthangal continuous and unchecked dumping of solid waste has changed the hydrology of the river.

“Along Mylapore, Mandaveli and Kotturpuram MRTS stations, garbage will be floating like an island in Buckingham Canal. Same thing happens to Cooum and Adyar rivers too. Firstly illegal sewage connections which dump waste water into these rivers must be plugged,” said Balaji CR, a civic activist.

S Thirunavakarasu, a retired PWD engineer said a separate wing should be created in Chennai Corporation to curb dumping of solid waste in all three rivers. “Corporation turns a blind eye to this. Corporation has a designated waste collection spot in zone 13 next to Buckingham Canal. The leachate will drain into the river only. Defaulters must be fined and more awareness should be spread among people living close to these rivers,” he said.
 

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