The move has come as a blessing for the cash-strapped Kochi Corporation, which decided to hand over the responsibility to the Irrigation Department
The Irrigation Department has agreed to de-silt seven major canals and strengthen its retaining walls to ensure that floodwaters are drained to Kochi backwaters. These include the Thevara-Perandur, Edapally, Karanakodam, Pandarachal, Pashnithodu, Pallichal, and Changadampokku canals.
The move has come as a blessing for the cash-strapped Kochi Corporation, which decided to hand over the responsibility to the Irrigation Department along with a request from the civic body to the Irrigation Minister P. J. Joseph on Wednesday at Thiruvananthapuram.
According to Kochi Corporation Mayor Tony Chammany, who was part of the delegation which met the Minister, the de-silting of the Thevara canal alone would cost Rs.75 lakh a year for the civic body.
Most of the time, it will not be possible for the civic body to clean these seven canals in one year considering the cost involved, he said.
The Mayor said that the corporation can save considerable portion of its fund as it would require at least Rs.7 crore a year for the civic body to clean these canals. The cost of maintaining the retaining walls will also require a considerable amount.
The Minister shared his vision of developing a water metro for Kochi by making these canals navigable and ensured budgetary support for the project, said Mr. Chammany.
Copies of the representation along with the corporation council resolution on the issue were presented to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Finance Minister K. M. Mani, Excise Minister K. Babu and Industries Minister P. K. Kunhalikutty.
The Kochi delegation also included Dominic Presentation and Benny Behannan, MLAs, and T. K. Ashraf and R. Thyagarajan, Standing Committee chairpersons of the civic body.