Water Resources department is in the process of identifying commercial structures that have encroached upon the waterway in the city limits as an effort to give further impetus to the rejuvenation of the polluted Cooum.  The department plans to remove 10 commercial structures that have encroached upon the riverbed near Aminjikarai and Koyambedu from Thursday.   Small eateries and hardware shops are included.  The work is being taken up under the Integrated Cooum River Eco-Restoration project, which is progressing at a slow pace.  In the riverbank for a stretch of nearly 15 km between Koyambedu and Cooum estuary near the Napier bridge around 12,000 buildings including residential colonies were identified to be removed.  However, the number of commercial structures that have to be cleared is yet to be enumerated.  This is being done in a phased manner as it involves coordination with various government agencies, including the Revenue Department, said officials of the WRD.  The department has been clearing residential structures that have encroached upon the riverbed for nearly a year.  Evictions had to be temporarily stopped due to stiff opposition from the residents.Officials of the WRD said preliminary work, such as razing down the encroached portions and clearing debris, had been completed.  Work to widen the waterway in the reclaimed portion of the riverbank and also desilting the waterway would be initiated soon.  In some places, the river will be widened to its original width of 200 to 240 metres.



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