There are various institutions including two major hospitals in Kozhikode that dispose their waste through the Corporation’s drainage lines.

The seventy drainage pipes that open into the Connolly Canal in Kozhikode will pose a major challenge to the Irrigation Department’s latest attempt to clean up and make the canal navigable.

As the works, under the Rs.4.6-crore project under the Nabard Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to raise the canal into a major waterway, kicked off on Wednesday officials are still confused over what to do with the Municipal Corporation’s and Public Works Department’s drainage pipes that open into the canal and deposit all sort of waste into it.

“There should be some sort of effort on the part of the Municipal Corporation to prevent silt from settling in the canal. A silt pit could be placed at every opening to collect the silt,” the Irrigation Executive Engineer Jose Abraham told reporters here on Wednesday.

As of now, there are various institutions including two major hospitals in the city that dispose their waste through the Corporation’s drainage lines.

High tide

The authorities are not sure of the nature of the waste, as it is flushed out during high tide and at night, when the water level in the canal is much higher that the drain openings. Over the years, a lot of silt has accumulated around these openings, affecting the flow of water in the canal.

Once the silt pits are put up, it would be easier to determine the nature of the waste, Mr. Abraham said.

Apart from these drains, the solid waste dumped in the canal by private individuals has converted the canal into a dumping yard.

The authorities are unsure about how to put an end to it. District collector C.A.Latha suggested that some legal action could be taken on those depositing waste in the canal.

Kallayi river

The cleaning of the canal is now being undertaken between Puthiyara bridge and Eranhikkal, so that the flow of water into the canal from Korappuzha will be unhindered. However, the work from the other end, where water from Kallayi river flows into the canal, will be undertaken later, after the Kallayi river mouth, where a large amount of silt has accumulated, is cleaned.

Out of the Rs.4.6 crore sanctioned by Nabard to convert the canal into a waterway, Rs.2.41 crore will be used on desilting, removing the weeds and aquatic plants that prevent navigation and constructing the broken boundary walls. The rest of the amount was sanctioned to raise the height of the Puthiyara Bridge as well as building a bridge at Sarovaram.

However, this task was later found impractical. By National Waterway standards, the canal has to be 35 metres wide, 2.5 metres deep below the water level and any bridge on it should be 7 metres above the water level.

Height of bridge

Raising the height of the bridge is impossible under the present circumstances since the height of the road has to be raised along with it, which would thwart its opening into the Mini Bypass. Hence, the bridge project has been shelved for the present.

The silt and other waste collected from the canal will be deposited in an acre of land provided by the Malabar Chamber of Commerce. The possibilities of using the waste for some constructive purpose shall be explored later, the Collector said. She added that the work undertaken by the Irrigation Department will be completed by May 31.

C.Janardhanan, vice-chairman of the Connolly Canal Development Committee and Irrigation Department Assistant Engineer Ajayan.C were present at the press meet.

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