Central panel approves desilting and widening of Adyar Estuary

The rationale behind the project is to improve the water carrying and holding capacity of the Adyar River and enhancing the tidal exchange into the estuarine region where the River and the sea meet and to restore the marine habitat.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: Decks cleared for desilting and widening of Adyar Estuary as the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of central government has recommended the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to accord CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) clearance to the state public works department to carry out desilting and widening. Earlier, the EAC deferred permission for the proposal twice.

As per the proposal the public works department would desilt and widen the River from its mouth to Thiru Vi Ka Bridge for a total length of around 2 kilometres.

The project will be implemented at Rs. 21.63 crore.

The rationale behind the project is to improve the water carrying and holding capacity of the Adyar River and enhancing the tidal exchange into the estuarine region where the River and the sea meet and to restore the marine habitat.

As the project area falls under Coastal Regulation Zone and close to mangroves, the department requires CRZ clearance to commence the work.

However, the panel, whose recommendation is mandated for getting the requisite clearance, deferred the application twice in March and December 2021.

When the subject came for discussion a few days ago, the panel approved the project by laying down certain conditions such as adherence to CRZ Notification, 2011.

"The project proponent (Public Works Department) should undertake six month monitoring through National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) or any reputed institute on all physio-chemical water quality parameters, petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorophyll, heavy metals, sediment quality, benthic and plankton assessment 5km inside the Adyar estuary and 5km in coastal area with 2.5km on either side of the river mouth, " the panel said.

The department has also been directed not to carry out removal of sand from the beach during the active sea turtle nesting season (January to May) and not to use dredged sand directly for beach nourishment.

The panel also directed a comprehensive marine environmental monitoring through a nationally reputed institute to determine impact of the discharge against the baseline water and sediment quality parameters.

"Monitoring of shore erosion/accretion should be undertaken along the coastal stretch in open coastal waters over a distance covering 3km on each side to the north of the confluence, " the panel said.

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