21
Aug
08

Chennai’s Shame

Chennai has once again reinforced the fact that it is the dirtiest city in the country. After reading a newspaper report that said the Cooum river is 80% dirtier than sewage, I felt disgusted about the role of the people responsible. The finding implies that the river water is actually far more toxic than our own human waste in a septic tank. Fish couldn’t even survive for 4 hours in some of the samples collected, even after diluting it 50%. Fact remains only negligible levels of oxygen were present in the samples collected.

That the Cooum, along with the Buckingham canal was actually used for drinking purposes 60 years back is pretty unbelievable.  Both these water bodies are signs of total neglect presently. The very color of the water suggests the condition. One cannot even go near the rivers as the stench emanated is unbearable. Slums line the banks of the waterways. Even though the water is contaminated, the people from these slums use it for some purposes. Although there are numerous hotels and commercial establishments along the rivers, none of them have bothered to do something about this issue.

Now that both these rivers, along with the Adyar river, which is in a better condition, are to be converted into water highways is a sign of relief.  Although the authorities are claiming decontamination processes would be on the lines of the one done with London’s Thames river, I doubt of they will ever be able to give a lease of life back to the rivers.

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