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Stalin Kicks Off Cooum Project  
Source:   Express News Service City   : Chennai Published On   15-12-2009  



In the first phase, restoration project would be carried out in the 18-km stretch within the city WITH the Public Works Department handing over about one kilometre stretch of Cooum River bank between Anderson Bridge and Harris Road Bridge near Chintadripet, the river's restoration project officially began on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after launching the first phase of Rs 1200 crore restoration project, Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin said, "For the restoration of such polluted 12-km river in Singapore, the local government took about 10 years' time, though Cooum is 18 km long (inside city limit), we also want to complete the whole project in 10 years period."

In the one-km stretch handed over to the Chennai Corporation on Tuesday, the civic body would develop vast play area for children, besides green meadows and footpaths, Stalin said.

If we remove all encroachments along the banks of Cooum river and arrest sewage inflow to the river basin, the restoration project would be over by 50 per cent, Stalin asserted.

In the first phase, restoration project would be carried out in 18-km stretch falling inside the city limit. Stalin said, "Under Rs 600 crore package received by the Chennai Corporation for various projects from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Rs 200 crore would be used for laying new storm water drains (SWDs), Rs 117 crore would be used to upgrade the existing SWDs and another Rs 200 crore would be used for strengthening Cooum bunds." He also announced that a new monitoring committee under the leadership of the Chief Secretary and comprising other officials concerned would be formed soon to oversee the Cooum restoration project periodically.

On a question about initiative for restoration of other waterways crisscrossing the city, Stalin said, "Once the restoration of Cooum is done, a decision regarding cleaning and restoring of A d y a r R ive r and Buckingham Canal would be taken."

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