Representatives of various government departments, panchayats, and non-governmental organisations on Thursday met at the district panchayat office to discuss ways to rejuvenate and conserve the Vellayani lake as recommended by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management. The Department of Environment and Climate Change, which is in charge of implementing the programme, has sanctioned Rs.49.4 lakh for the restoration work.
Under the programme, the Revenue Department, with the assistance of the Department of Survey and Land Records, will conduct a survey to demarcate the boundary of the lake. The Kerala Agriculture University will provide bio-fencing and initiate steps to control weeds and promote lotus cultivation in the lake.
Further, the Irrigation Department has been entrusted with the task to de-silt the lake, strengthen bunds, and to conserve feeder canals. While the Kudumbasree and Janasree will set up outlets for sale of organic farm products and fish caught from the lake, the Agency for Development of Aquaculture and the Fisheries Department would jointly take up controlled fresh water fish farming in the lake, said a note circulated in the meeting.
Director of the Department of Environment and Climate Change P. Sreekantan Nair, in his address, stressed the need for implementing the programme in a time-bound manner and the constitution of an implementation committee with the district panchayat president as chairman and Director of the Department of Environment and Climate Change as convenor.
Vice-president of the district panchayat Rufus Daniel told The Hindu that departments had been directed to prepare an action plan in two weeks. One suggestion that emerged at the meeting was to conduct the survey to demarcate the lake’s boundary and the bio-fencing simultaneously, he added.