Local people pool money to revitalise a pond at Othayamangalam
Ponds have become a rarity in the district, with many making way for apartment complexes and commercial establishments. But, when the pond in their locality was about to die a natural death, residents of Othayamangalam road near Karaparamba were not ready to fill it up and make use of the land.
The people, led by the ward councillor, wanted to rejuvenate the pond. On Sunday, their efforts reached fruition, with the inauguration of the pond, complete with a new boundary wall and steps surrounding it.
“When we mooted the idea in May, the initial response was not very encouraging. Then, one resident contributed Rs.30,000. We decided to begin the works with this fund. But once the work started, more people started contributing. We managed to complete the work in two months,” says P. Sreekumar, councillor of Karaparamba ward.
The project cost Rs.1.30 lakh, with the residents contributing Rs.1.15 lakh. The contributions ranged from Rs.500 to Rs.30,000. “The pond was built by the Othayamangalam royal family decades ago. It was a gift to the people. But in the past few years, it fell into disuse. Moss gathered and steps crumbled. It also became a dump. Now we can teach children swimming here,” said a resident.
The Othayamangalam pond is one of the eight ponds in the Karaparamba ward. The biggest of them, Bilathikkulam pond, is the next in line to be revitalised with the recent sanctioning of government funds of Rs.45 lakh.