The Koilandy municipality has bagged this year's ‘Bhoomi Jal Samwardhan Puraskaar' instituted by the Central government for the best efforts in groundwater augmentation. Though 19 other institutions were given the award, Koilandy is the only urban civic body to get the award.
Municipal chairman K. Dasan received the award and a check of Rs.1 lakh from Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in New Delhi on Monday on the occasion of World Water Day.
The municipality won the award for its emphasis on people's participation in water conservation efforts. Mr. Dasan said over a lakh pits were dug for collecting rainwater in the municipality's 41 wards. Rainwater storage measures were adopted in houses and mangroves planted along the rivers passing through the civic body.
Thirteen large storm water tanks were constructed and saplings planted along the coastal belt. With the participation of Kudumbashree units, canals, streams and ponds were cleaned and repairs were made. The municipality also acquired ten ponds from individuals and took steps to preserve the ponds.
Another important feature of the success achieved by the municipality was the cooperation of citizens irrespective of political loyalties. The primary aim of the municipal council since taking charge in 2005 had been to make Koilandy a ‘water surplus' area and the provision of drinking water to the coastal belts.
The civic body qualified for the award after an inspection by a Central delegation. The municipality has won laurels in the past too for its initiatives in water conservation and waste disposal.
From 2004 to 2006, it won the Agriculture Department's award for water conservation and also won the Kerala Pollution Control Board's award for waste management.
Senior ward members of Koilandy Municipality accompanied Mr. Dasan to New Delhi to participate in the award distribution ceremony.
A civic reception will be held at the Koilandy railway station at 3.30 p.m. on Wednesday for Mr. Dasan on his return from New Delhi after receiving the award. Prominent environmentalists and cultural leaders will participate in the programme.