Ennore Fisherfolk prevail. Thanks to a responsive administration (Disaster Relief Commissioner Mr. Satyagopal, IAS), the Kosasthalaiyar and Ennore Creek are getting a new lease of life. In September, Ennore fisherfolk and Chennai-based organisations and individuals urged the Government to remove certain encroachments in Buckingham Canal and Ennore Creek to reduce flooding risk in North Chennai. To its credit, the Government of Tamil Nadu has begun implementing some of the recommended actions. The All Ennore Fishing Village Coalition and the Coastal Resource Centre have conveyed their appreciation to the State Disaster Relief Commissioner and have offered to submit a monitoring report on the quality of remediation works carried out by TANGEDCO, Kamarajar Port and NTECL.
Buckingham Canal blocked by TANGEDCO’s Ennore Thermal Power Station
The illegal encroachment being removed pursuant to campaign by Ennore fisherfolk and city-based organisations.
Zoom in of removal work of illegal encroachment by ETPS in Kosasthalaiyar River.
Zoom out of removal work of illegal encroachment by ETPS in Kosasthalaiyar River.
Post removal of illegal encroachment by ETPS in Kosasthalaiyar River. The removal is not thorough, but fisherfolk say the remainder will be washed out by the river during the monsoons.
Another view of the Kosasthalaiyar River after ETPS encroachment was removed.
Buckingham Canal as it was a week ago due to dumping of flyash by TANGEDCO’s North Chennai Thermal Power Station.
Work in progress to remove flyash dumped in Buckingham Canal by TANGEDCO’s North Chennai Thermal Power Station.
After removal of flyash dumped illegally by TANGEDCO’s North Chennai Thermal Power Station. The Buckingham Canal flows once again.
Buckingham canal in Chennai plays a crucial role in flood mitigation. It is rapidly deteriorating and needs immediate attention to avoid a repeat of last year’s flood.
Long-time Kottur resident Narayanan’s earliest memories of the Buckingham canal are those of the famed salt and timber-laden wooden catamarans of the 1950s and the 60s. A namesake of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, the erstwhile governor of Madras, the canal was initially constructed as a brackish water-navigation channel in the early 1800s, connecting the north of Madras with Ennore. Additions were made till the end of the 18th century when the canal extended for over 100 km from the city up to Marakkanam in Villupuram district. The canal fell into disuse in the late 60s, grotesquely transforming into a sewage carrier from a thriving inland waterway.
After the Buckingham canal was declared a national waterway (NW-4) in 2008, the union government revived its plans of developing the canal between Peddaganjam in Andhra Pradesh and Ennore south as an efficient navigation channel. The 300-km stretch is expected to be dredged and excavated to ensure it is capable of transporting country crafts carrying 30 to 40 tonne cargos of coal, fertilisers, cement and sand, apart from food grains. Navigation or otherwise, the Buckingham canal holds a very important place in the overall scheme of flood mitigation of Chennai city.
Earth movers removing silt from the Buckingham Canal and the Ennore Creek come as a welcome sight to residents of several fishing hamlets in the area that had witnessed heavy flooding during December last.
The direction comes in response to pleas from environmental activists and fishermen, who came together for ‘Save Ennore Creek’ campaign
The Tiruvallur district administration and the Commissionerate of Revenue Administration have directed thermal power stations and industries in Ennore to dredge the silt-filled Buckingham Canal ahead of the Northeast monsoon to ensure the free flow of flood water.
By Express News Service | Published: 13th October 2016 04:53 AM | Last Updated: 13th October 2016 04:53 AM
CHENNAI: In what the fisherfolk of Ennore and organisations who have been pushing for restoration of Ennore creek consider a victory of sorts, desilting work has begun at the Ennore creek as per the directives of the State Disaster Relief Commissioner, after months of campaign, activists said.