Minister for Devaswoms V.S. Sivakumar inaugurated the Sreevarahom Pond Restoration scheme on the temple premises in the city on Tuesday.

Speaking at the function, he said the increasing number of renovation works at places of worship showed the spiritual growth of people, which was important for the development of society. “The government has issued an order to retrieve the lands that belong to Devaswom boards and to preserve ponds and ‘kavu' (sacred grove) as places of religious importance,” he said.

The first phase of the restoration work includes dewatering of the pond and sludge removal. It is expected to be completed in four months. The project under the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has support from the Corporation and the district administration.

High-quality mud pumps of more than 10 hp will be used to remove the thick sludge settled at the bottom of the pond. The water will be drained to a canal, which will probably be directed to the Parvathy Puthanar. Side walls will be reconstructed. “Cast iron grills will be constructed after the basic framework,” said P.R. Chandramohanan, executive engineer of the renovation project.

Mayor K. Chandrika inaugurated a fund mobilisation drive for the project.

A sum of Rs.33 lakh has been sanctioned by the TDB for the first phase of the project. An amount of Rs.20 lakh has been estimated for the renovation of the Mandapam in the middle of the pond and for the construction of a wall. While Rs.10 lakh has been contributed by the Corporation, the rest will be collected from the public.