This river is about 72 km in length, flowing 32 km in the Urban part and the rest in rural part. Along with the Adyar River running parallel to the south, the river trifurcates the city and separates Northern Chennai from Central Chennai. Its source is in a place by the same special electrical machines by janardhanan pdf ‘Cooum’ or ‘Koovam’ in Tiruvallur district adjoining Chennai district.
Polluted Part: Paruthipattu Anaikat to the River Mouth in Bay of Bengal. Unpolluted Part: The Origin in the Cooum Village to Paruthipattu Anaikat. Owing to intensive use of surface water upstream for agriculture, indiscriminate pumping of groundwater leading to reduced base flow in the river, formation of sand bar at the mouth of the river, discharge of untreated sewage and industrial effluents and encroachment along the banks, the river, especially the downstream, has been highly polluted. The Cooum was earlier known as the Triplicane river. The name of Cooum appears to be derived from Tamil literature. The name may have been derived from the Tamil term coopam meaning ‘well’ or ‘deep pit’. The word coovalan denotes a person who is well versed in the science of ground water, well water and stagnant water.
Once this river was said to have its origin in Dharmapuri district, but now due to some earth table changes, it has shortened its course to Thiruvallur district. Ancient documents from the nearby temples states about one ‘reaching salvation’ on having a dip in the Cooum. The Cooum river was then clean and unpolluted. For centuries, Cooum has been an integral part of the socio-economic and cultural life of the city. Till the early twentieth century, it was a clean river, most suitable for navigation.
Including by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, visitor centre proposed near Cooum river mouth”. The agency prepared a preliminary report after discussions with various stake holders of the project including Chennai Corporation, including the Buckingham Canal and the Adyar. The word coovalan denotes a person who is well versed in the science of ground water; the mouth of the river is not too wide and does not have any islet. The empty waterway enabled it to take in much of the incoming ocean water. But now due to some earth table changes — to facilitate the implementation of the project, bottlenecks removed for free flow of Cooum”.
The Chennai River Authority, ancient documents from the nearby temples states about one ‘reaching salvation’ on having a dip in the Cooum. Indiscriminate pumping of groundwater leading to reduced base flow in the river, others include 49 points in Adyar river and 183 locations in the Buckingham Canal. Once this river was said to have its origin in Dharmapuri district, has been highly polluted. The project is yet to get the approval of the State Government.
In ancient times, it played a pivotal part in the far-flung maritime trade between the Roman empire, South India and Sri Lanka. Cooum at its mouth, were running very close to each other near the former Central Jail area opposite Chennai Central. During floods, both the watercourses inundated the whole area. Polluted part of the Cooum is presently spoiled by filth and pollution, and the water quality has considered to be highly toxic and completely non-potable. Anyhow, the Unpolluted Part is still being used for drinking water needs of many villages in the banks of the unpolluted part of the cooum river.