The Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) would begin cleaning of the Thevara-Perandoor canal from Wednesday.

The Kochi Metro Rail Limited had entrusted the agency with the work at a cost of Rs. 2.62 crore. The work is expected to be completed in 45 days time.

“The KMRL is taking up the canal's cleaning as part of our social-responsibility initiative. It will make Kochi a better place to live, by preventing water-logging and accumulation of waste and dirt,” said Tom Jose, the KMRL's MD.

The full stretch of the 10 km-long canal would be cleaned and de-silted, beginning from near the PVS Hospital in Kaloor to Thevara where it joins the Vembanad waterbody. Initially, the sides of the canal would be cleaned and cleared of bushes and shrubs. The formal de-silting work would begin from Monday. The around 49,000 cubic metres of silt and dirt that would be dredged would be dumped at either Brahmapuram or a place in the suburbs. The help of Kochi Corporation has been sought for this, KSINC sources said.

The biggest polluter of the canal that was once navigable is the slaughter house at Kaloor. The bio-gas plant here is not functional, reportedly because of the Kochi Corporation's inability to ensure its maintenance. The canal would become dirty if dirt and garbage from the slaughter house and households are dumped after the desilting is done, they said.

 “The cleaning of Thevara-Perandoor canal is crucial to ensure free flow of water through the city, which will eventually help avoid water- logging. We requested the KMRL to take up this work as they completed the works that they undertook (like resurfacing alternative roads to divert traffic when preliminary work on the Kochi Metro Rail was on) in a time-bound and professional manner,” said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.

The process of cleaning the canal includes “pola” (plants and weeds) removal, removing the waste dumped in the waterbody and cleaning/de-silting it up to one-meter depth. The KSINC will carry out the work using both mechanized and manual processes.

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