The stretch along Cooum river in Pudupet is set to get a facelift. The river bank currently houses auto service shops and as part of Chennai corporation’s efforts to rejuvenate Cooum, a park will be developed in this stretch. Hundreds of auto service shops will be demolished and shifted to Appur near Singaperumal koil, over 50 kms away.
“Development of a wall has started on South Cooum River Road. We have permitted the shops to remove their machinery. Demolition will begin this week,” The Hindu reported Mr.Mantri Govinda Rao, Deputy Commissioner (Works), Greater Chennai Corporation, as saying.
Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance board has already set up camps in Pudupet neighborhood to help affected shopkeepers with resettlement and rehabilitation. The auto service shops in Pudupet neighborhood near Cooum is a go to place for cab drivers as they offer cheaper service, at around 30% of the actual cost in other service outlets.
“The Public Works Department (PWD) allotted the area to us in the 1970s. We have been paying rent. We are ready to shift to an alternative site. But the alternative site has not been developed yet. We will have to suspend operations for three to six months before building another shop in Appur, which is 56 km away. Many of us may lose our livelihood,” one of the shopkeepers, Mr. Ashok Kumar told The Hindu.