This directive comes at an important time just ahead of the Northeast monsoon and will ensure the smooth flow of flood water.

Save Ennore Creek Govt budges asks thermal stations to dredge Buckingham Canal
news Ennore Creek Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 14:00

The ‘Save Ennore Creek’ campaign seems to have yielded some result, with the government responding positively. The Tiruvallur district administration has ordered thermal power stations and industries in Ennore to dredge the silt-filled Buckingham Canal.

This directive comes at an important time just ahead of the Northeast monsoon and will ensure the smooth flow of flood water.

The four-sq. km wide creek is the meeting point for the Kosasthalaiyar river, North Buckingham Canal and the sea. Thermal power plants including the Ennore thermal power plant, North Chennai thermal power station, the NTPC Tamil Nadu Energy Company Limited and Kamarajar Port Trust have been directed to focus on the desilted portion of the Buckingham canal.

“We did not find any sand deposits in the Ennore creek. There has not been much dumping of fly ash in recent months and we are monitoring the creek for any signs of pollution. But the waterway needs attention,” said an official, according to a report by K Lakshmi in The Hindu.

A two-km stretch of the canal on the southern bank of the creek is being cleaned up by the Ennore thermal power station, while the task of mopping up nearly 8 km of the Buckingham Canal, which extends till Pulicat has been given to the North Chennai thermal power plant and the Kamarajar Port Trust, the report says.

Another three kilometers will be dredged by a private company, while an almost 15-km stretch of the Canal would be desilted by the monsoon end.  

“We have instructed that the top width of the canal must be maintained at 23 metres. Measures have been taken to ensure free flow of water instead of waiting for funds to be allotted by the Water Resources Department,” the official added.

Environmental activists and fishermen have launched the ‘Save Ennore Creek’ campaign to safeguard the creek from rampant industrial pollution.

Nityanand Jayaraman, an activist, welcomed the move and said this will reduce the stress in the area.

“There are some points in the creek where you can just walk across due to sand deposits. That too has to be removed. We would be happy to show them those points so that work can be taken up there. We have already sent detailed recommendations to the district administration, and hope they would be implemented,” Jayaraman said.

“Similarly, the Buckingham Canal too needs to be desilted. As of now, only a small section of the canal has been dredged superficially and the dredged fly ash has been dumped on its sides. A thorough dredging job is needed, and the recovered fly ash should be removed. Otherwise, all the dredging work would be undone by the downpour,” he added.

Jayaraman also posted a message on Facebook.  

Located to the north of Chennai, the Ennore Creek drains two rivers – the Araniyar and Kosasthalaiyar which meet at Ennore Creek before flowing into the Bay of Bengal at Mugathwarakuppam. In many ways, it is more important than the two rivers Adyar and Cooum which were the centre of focus during the December floods and after.

Flyash, dumping of earth and construction of bridges and roads have all resulted in blocking the natural flow of water, the devastating effects of which were seen during the floods last December.

Read: Explainer: Why Chennai needs to speak up to save the Ennore creek

The Ennore Fishers’ as part of the campaign have made a fervent appeal to the denizens of Chennai to come forward in saving the Ennore Creek.

Read: Chennai fishermen’s call to residents: Join our campaign to save Ennore Creek, save our city

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.