Cooum River in Chennai

This article provides details about the Cooum River in Chennai. Cooum River is one of the oldest river that is flowing in Chennai which was one of the major water source for Chennai in olden Days. Now Cooum River is the most contaminated river in Chennai.

The River Cooum – Recognition of Chennai

Cooum River is said to be the urban river that is flowing in Chennai and it is also said as the recognition of Chennai. Cooum is one of the most famous and very old rivers that is flowing in Chennai. It is great to know more about the Cooum River as it gives a good recognition to Chennai to the people who are outside Chennai. There are many rivers that flow in Chennai. Once there were many rivers that were flowing in Chennai and many places were given recognitions based on the rivers that flow in that area. Today Cooum River is said to be one of the dirty river that is flowing in Chennai as there are many contamination that took place in the river. The government is also making plans for cleaning the Cooum River which is a very tedious process.

The Cooum River Description

The river cooum is a derivative of the Tamil literature word 'Coovalan'; it denotes a person who is a specialist in the field of ground water, well water and stagnant water. It is one of the shortest classified rivers pouring into the Bay of Bengal. The river Cooum originates from the village Cooum, in Tiruvallur district, roughly 70kms away from Chennai. It is currently a drainage course inside Chennai collecting the excess of 75 small tanks of sewers. Once a fishing river is now a drainage tank because of Chennai's population burst and expansion without due planning. In the olden Chennai when it was called as Madras, people were very much dependent on the Cooum River as the source of water for Chennai. Due to some reasons later the drainage water was mixed with the Cooum River and this made the Cooum River more contaminated. Even the color of the Cooum River is changed now because of the contamination.

History of the Cooum River in Chennai

The Cooum River has a very big history to go. There were lots of dependencies for the Cooum River in means of water requirement and also for the beauty of Chennai. The River was once said to have its origin from the Dharmapuri district. But now due to the Earth's seismographic changes it has reduced its course till Tiruvallur. Thirty years have passed by since recreational boats were available for leisure boating. As part of Annual tourism exhibition used to take place tourists were taken in the water ways till 1985. At the source of the river two ancient Siva temples are there one in Tiruvirkolam and another in IlambaiyanKottur. These have been featured in the in the Thevaram sung by TirugnanaSambandar. Ancient documents states that Salvation can be reached by taking a holy dip in the Cooum River.

Location of Chennai Cooum River

There are various advantages in the olden days based on the location of Cooum River in Chennai. The river Cooum is located 70kms away from the Bay of Bengal and has its origin in the village of Cooum in Tiruvallur district. It covers a strip of 18kms in the city of Chennai. Some of the places that are near the reach of the River are:

 Important roads( Rajaji Salai, Adams road, Kamarajar Salai road)
 Important places(Anna Square, Buckingham canal, University of Madras)
 Important hotels(Hotel Royal Regency, Taj Hotel, The Raintree hotel)
 Important markets(Moore market, Chintadripet Market, China Bazaar)
 Places of interest(War memorial, Fort St. George, Valluvar Kottam)

Pollution of the Cooum River

The Cooum we today see is just filth & dissolved toxins and completely unpottable as it is 80% more polluted than treated sewer_ a World Bank study says. A study of the Public Works department says that the pollution of the River is mainly due to Government agencies such as Chennai Metro Corporation, Sewage board and some private business units and Retail outlets by the side of Cooum River. The water of the Cooum River has heavy traces of metals like Copper, although it has dominant amount of Sewer and sludge. It has almost no dissolved Oxygen content in it. Presently the Kesavaram dam diverts the River into the Chembarambakkan Lake from which drinking water is supplied to the city of Chennai.

Massive cleanup of the Cooum River

One of Chennai City's dream project has come alive, the cleanup of the Cooum River. Stalin, the deputy Chief minister of TamilNadu, who recently visited Singapore along with a team to study a River restoration model, said it would be replicated here. Some of the steps taken to clean the River and bring it back to its original state are,

• Clearing of encroachments along its bank
• Upgradation of Lakes
• Cleaning up of solid waste dumped along the river
• Bringing up awareness among the nearby residents regarding the cleaning up of the Cooum river
• Placing of Compactor bins for collection of garbage
• Sealing of sewers which are connected to the Cooum

These steps are being undertaken gradually and the Cooum River will be back to its majestic looks by the year 2020. Chennai is all set to get a new facelift. The government is also making a plan to clean the Cooum river but it is actually not very good to implement it soon because this is a very massive process and it involves lots of procedures. If this problem is rectified then there will not be any water problem for the people of Chennai.

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Author: Bharath15 May 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Hi Bala,

Very nice article about Cooum river. It is the only river running over chennai. Thanks for the informative article.


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