Task force to assess canal width at five different points; survey likely to take one month

Edappally canal, which was in the news recently after the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) wrote to the Kochi Corporation and the Kalamassery municipality about its alleged encroachment, is back in focus again.

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said a special task force would be formed to assess the width of the canal based on survey documents and demarcate it with boundary stones. The Collector, however, made it clear that survey of the Edappally canal alone would be held at this stage. Follow-up measures such as eviction of encroachments, if any, would be subjected to the decision of the State government.

The task force will have representatives from the survey, revenue and irrigation departments, Kochi Corporation, Kalamassery and Thrikkakara municipal corporations, and the KMRL. The Collector has also assured police protection for the task force while carrying out its work.

The Collector said documents relating to the canal must be collected within two days. Various departments have been asked to hand over survey sketches in their custody to the task force.

The survey will be launched from five different points and will be completed within a month. Country boats will be used to reach points inaccessible by road.

The Edappally canal linking the Muttar tributary of Periyar and Champakkara canal at Eroor has a length of 10.25 km. The canal has a width of 75 metre at Eroor while at the point it joins Muttar it has a width of only five metre.

Mr. Pareeth said a master plan would be drawn up to develop the canal and facilitate water transport after fixing its width based on survey documents.

The master plan will envisage among other things embankments, road along the banks of the canal, and an iron net for checking dumping of waste into the canal. The idea is to deepen the canal enough to facilitate movement of small boats. The canal was used by small canoes in the past. Terminals will be set up at points where road, canal, and metro rail meet.

The survey carried out by the revenue department in the wake of the letter written by the KMRL had failed to detect any encroachment. However, that had left doubts as to how the width of the canal got reduced.

A proposal had been prepared for conserving the Edappally canal by deepening it and enhancing its width for a comprehensive transportation system merging the road and water transportation modes as part of the Kochi Metro Rail project.

Close on the heels of Edappally canal assessment, boundaries of Thevara-Perandoor canal, Karanakkodam canal, Mullassery canal and Changadampokku canal will also be assessed.

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