The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Fort Kochi, has directed the executive engineer, Public Works Department (Roads), Ernakulam, to reduce the depth of the public drain at Chottanikkara to a maximum of 30 cm within a period of three weeks.

The SDM has asked the PWD to construct a drain that will conduct only rain water.

The SDM had ordered the closure of the public drain after allegations that hotels and lodges in the area emptied sewage and other waste material into it, polluting agricultural land and drinking water sources there.

A petition filed by the Janakeeya Samithy and a representation given by the president of Chottanikkara grama panchayat M. A. John had alleged that the drain was being misused. However, the affected hoteliers and the Chottanikkara temple authorities had approached the SDM with the request that the issue be reconsidered.

Mr. John said the SDM’s order was a victory for the people as it ensured protection of the area from further pollution and health hazards.

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