State will make city canals navigable with a Rs.500-crore project
The State government’s decision to intervene in the cleaning of city canals comes as a major relief to the financially-struggling Kochi Corporation.
It has also enlivened the hopes of city dwellers who have to navigate through the water logged city roads during the peak monsoon season. The cleaning and removal of sludge from the canals would increase their carrying capacity and flood waters would be cleared through them quickly.
Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph had announced on Friday that the State government will make the city canals clean and navigable through a Rs.500-crore project. The Minister had also listed the Edappally Canal, Thevara-Perandoor Canal, Market Canal and Karanakodam Thodu as the ones that were to be cleaned immediately.
According to B. Bhadra, Deputy Mayor, the government support in the form of implementation of the works would financially help the civic body as it could save the funds invested in the sector. Last year, the civic body had shelled out around Rs. six crore for desilting the small canals and drains in the city. It is also the case this year, she pointed out.
A thorough cleaning of the major canals in the city is beyond the financial capabilities of the civic body. The de-clogging of bar mouth of the Thevara Perandoor Canal is essential for ensuring the free flow of flood water from the city area to the backwaters. It certainly requires the intervention from the highest level, she said.
With government support, the Corporation could utilise the money spend for the cleaning of canals for more welfare measures, Ms. Bhadra said.
The Kochi Corporation is planning to install powerful motors for flushing out rainwater in select city areas on an experimental basis. The two areas selected for the trial are Puthanpalam in the North and southern end of MG Road, said Soumini Jain, the chairperson of the Works Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.
The Corporation has made the Petti and Para, the indigenously developed mechanism for flushing out water, operational. Though it was suggested at a recent Corporation Council meeting that the feasibility of the system should be evaluated, no final decision has been taken, she said.
The civic body had invested heavily in the system during the time of its installation. It would require the decision of the council and a report from the experts to do away with the system, she said.