It might be a bit too harsh to call the river a curse. I think that the fundamental challenge of the river is that it has become subject to a great deal of pollution. The Cooum River is the victim to heavy pollution. One need only inhale the air by it and the reality of pollution is brutal. This is not something that can be blamed on the river. It is the fault of people and industries that have used the river as a dumping ground. The river itself has become a source of pollution. That being said, I also think that people fully grasp the river as a source of relative location in the city. Most Chennai folk understand the river as an area of the city, as it is near or en route to the Central Rail station and adjacent to the beachline. I cannot call it either a boon or a curse, but I think that there has to be some legislative guideline that prohibits its disrespect through pollution.