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Anakkulam to be conserved

Special Correspondent
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Work to come under Sahasra Sarovar Project

Anakkulam, an expansive water body located within the Kannur

municipal area, will be revived as a water resource by including it under the Agricultural Department’s Sahasra Sarovar Project being implemented by the Kerala Land Development Corporation (KLDC) to restore tanks and other water bodies that have been in a state of disuse and disrepair for several years.

Anakkulam, a 2.5-acre water body located at a stone’s throw from the centre of the town, has been raised as a major source of groundwater in the area and its revival from a state of neglect has been a proposal for the past several years. The proposal, which hitherto remained in the realm of assurances and the municipality’s budgets over the years, is all set to be resuscitated under the State government’s project for the renewal of 1,000 tanks and ponds and similar water bodies in the State.

The proposal is to conserve the water body, situated near the South Bazaar here, includes construction of a perimeter wall, fencing, and sidewalls. The works under the proposal are still being worked out in collaboration with other agencies.

“The Sahasra Sarovar Project being a public-supported project involving

various agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture and Fisheries, a final shape of the proposal for revival and conservation of Anakkulam will emerge soon,” KLDC Managing Director P.G. Raveendranath said here on Tuesday.

He told The Hindu that the project included pisciculture, planting of crops and construction of overhead tank for storage of water from Anakkulam to be supplied for irrigation purposes.

The sludge removed from Anakkulam would be used for developing an area under vegetable cultivation within the boundary wall to be constructed around the tank, Rajeevan Elayavur, vice-chairman of the Anakkulam Samrakshana Samithi, said.

Rs.250-crore project

The Sahasra Sarovar Project launched last year has been envisaged to conserve 1,000 water bodies, mainly tanks in the State. The project has been launched by the Agricultural Department to bring to life the remaining water bodies that are ruined and recharge the groundwater resource.

The State was originally supposed to have 97,637 tanks, according to KLDC’s figures. The Sahasra Sarovar Project, estimated to cost Rs.250 crore, will be implemented in three years. In the first phase, 100 to 150 tanks would be renovated and revived.

According to KLDC officials, the Central government has been approached for financial assistance for the project. They also exuded the hope that the State government would include the project in the next Budget as a special initiative.

Kottayamchira

Meanwhile, 50 per cent of the ongoing work for removing accumulated sludge from the Kottayamchira, a tank near Koothuparamba, was over. The temple tank, spread over 12 acres, is also being renovated under the Sahasra Sarover Project. Mr. Raveendranath said the total work for conserving the ‘chira’ was estimated at Rs.5 crore. The government had already sanctioned Rs.14.4 lakh for the removal of mud from the tank, he said adding that an additional Rs.3 crore had also been earmarked.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the restoration work here on September 1 last year.

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