The Hindu reports that the State of Tamilnadu in India is to udnertake what it calls "the San Antonio Model" to revive the Cooum River: http://www.hindu.com/2009/07/10/stories/2009071057140100.htm According to this news, the state government is to send some officials very shortly on a trip to Texas where they would look at what has been done in San Antonio to their sewage and then implement this in Chennai. Apparently, the project will be financed by the World Bank. Somehow, am I the only one who is more than just skeptical about this?
Many years ago, flush with their experience in rejuvenating the Thames, the British offered a huge amount of money and knowhow to clean the Cooum up. Then, as now, the Tamilnadu government made a big noise about how the Cooum would be cleaned up very shortly. Nothing really happened and the river only stank even more as more and more fecal matter ended up in it. It is not as if San Antonio is special in the scheme of things as far as managing sewerage is concerned - virtually any major city in the USA can provide this knowhow. My take on this is that some official in the TN government probably has a son or daughter or some other relative who lives in San Antonio. This entire story about using a "San Antonio Model" to clean the Cooum is little more than a plan to travel there and spend some time at public expense.
I'll also say that I shall be happy to reverse everything that I have said here if something is really done about the Cooum. Visitors here will recall how many times I have spoken about using the sewage as a resource to generate methane for power generation and the solid matter as fertilizer to be used in forestry as is done all over the USA. The news item on the so-called "San Antonio Model" does not have any information on exactly what the government plans to do. My skepticism may just end up proving itself as fully justifiable.