Refuse from towns is dumped in the Kadambrayar

Kadambrayar, a creek that once throbbed with life, continues to be throttled along most of its reaches by rampant pollution and encroachments. The creek was earlier fed by storm water drains that emptied water from 110 sq. km into it.

Floodwaters from Aluva, Brahmapuram, Kakkanad, Perumbavoor and the Periyar Valley Irrigation Canal drain into Kadambrayar. A substantial reach of the river flows towards Kombara and Kuzhivelippady.

The point where the rivulet takes shape, at the convergence of several small streams at Kakkattikkara in Kizhakkambalam panchayat, is choked with overgrown grass.

Twenty-eight-year-old Zakkir, a resident of the area, said a Revenue Department official, who visited the site recently, asked local residents and river protection activists, who accompanied him, if the particular reach was actually water or land.

Zakkir said scores of people bathed and washed clothes at the spot where the Pazhanganad-Manakkakadavu bridge stood over the stream at Kakkattikkara Bund.

Recalling his childhood days, he said the portion of the rivulet had a strong current and was so clear that an extensive layer of laterite stone could be seen.

V. N. Shivashankara Pillai, former director, School of Environment Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, said the Kadambrayar continued to be a victim of the rush for water-front property by property developers and pollution caused by increasing population.

Dr. Pillai, who has extensively studied the nearly 8-km creek, said it continued to be the source of fresh water supply for several industrial setups, including the Cochin Special Economic Zone.

However, both solid and liquid waste from industrial units and large living apartment complexes continued to be dumped into it at several spots.

This was evident from the way paddy fields and floodplains of the rivulet had turned into dumping spots.

The spot near Vikasvani-Vettikkuzhacheruthuruthu Bridge reeks of rotting leftover from meat shops. Plastic bottles and toys, fibre and thermocol boards are dumped at several places.

S. Seetaraman of Aluva Paristhithi Samrakshana Samity said the continuing pollution of the Kadambrayar called for a study of well water used by households on its banks because seepage of toxins into these wells would be high.

Chairman of Thrikkakara Municipality P.I. Mohammedali said on Thursday that Rs.12 crore had been allotted from the MLA fund to build a walkway along the Kadambrayar between Edachira and Brahmapuram and to build retaining walls along the three-km reach.

A slew of measures by the Irrigation Department were under way to clear the Kadambrayar of water hyacinths to make it navigable. The work was estimated to cost Rs.4.5 crore and had been on for about six months, said an official of the department.

The Panayamkutty rivulet is also being cleared of water hyacinths to make the reach between Infopark and Vyttila Mobility Hub navigable.

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