A close-up of Adyar River to mark World Water Day
The Adyar River flows out of Chembarambakkam Lake and through the southern Indian city of Chennai (or Madras). This intensively-used river is polluted.
On the banks of the Adyar River, nearly 150 years ago, the Madras Boat Club was established. Over the years the club has grown to today's 415 rowing and 615 non-rowing members. Chennai has also grown and with that the pollution levels from industry and urbanisation of the Adyar River.
Not surprisingly, the impact on the sport of rowing has been negative, not only because of the pollution but the silt that has built up. Club members can no longer enjoy a 3.5km rower down the river towards the Bay of Bengal. The club has decided to take action.
Action to help the river and its region began in 2010 when the government set up a 58 acre ecological park. This was part of 'phase one' to restore the Adyar estuary and river. Already 159 species of fauna have returned to the region. The second and third phases will see a clean-up and restoration of the estuary and a stretch of the river up to the rowing club.
Members of the Madras Boat Club realise the road to restoration is long and thus they established the Clean Adyar Initiative (CAI). "The objective is simple," says CAI organiser Krishnamohan Ramachandran, "To revive, restore and rejuvenate the Adyar River to its pristine best." Already a number of organisations have come together under a common roof to streamline the efforts.
Ramachandran sees the FISA-WWF clean water alliance as a perfect opportunity for the Clean Adyar Initiative to gain momentum in terms of public support.
Today, World Water Day, marks the official launch of the Clean Adyar Initiative with the webpage: http://cleanadyarinitiative.com/