It has been a year since detailed proposals were made for the project
Paucity of funds has hit the city canal cleaning project, which would have solved the city’s perennial waterlogging problem.
Of the seven city canals considered for the project, only Edappally and Market canals have received funds for basic works.
Almost a year has passed since the State Irrigation Department prepared detailed proposals for the project. According to an estimate, it would cost around Rs. 90 crore for cleaning up Thevara-Perandoor, Chilavannoor, Market, Thevara, Changadampokku, Karanakodam and Edappally canals.
According to the proposal, the canals will be de-silted and obstructions removed, in the first phase, to ensure smooth flow of water.
In the second phase, sluices and motor pump sets will be installed at the ends of each canal to drain out floodwater.
The devices have to be installed because the floor level of many canals is below the sea level. In a few canals, strengthening of the retaining walls was also proposed, said M. Sivadasan, Assistant Executive Engineer, Irrigation Sub Division, Ernakulam.
The draining of water from the arterial canals to the backwater would help in carrying away the floodwater from the city areas, Mr. Sivadasan said.
State Minister for Irrigation P. J. Joseph said financial constraints were preventing the department from taking up all the projects proposed in the city. The issue would be taken up with the Chief Minister soon and attempts would be made to release the required funds, Mr. Joseph said. The cleaning of Edappally canal will begin shortly. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will be funding the project.
Incidentally, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited had extensively de-silted the Thevara-Perandoor canal recently as part of the pre-monsoon preparations of the Kochi Corporation. The sediments on the canal floor were removed to a depth of 1.5 metres, said Soumini Jain, chairperson of the Works Standing Committee of the corporation.
“The civic body has been cleaning the canal at regular intervals,” she said.
However, the dumping of waste from slaughter houses and meat stalls was causing pollution and clogging the canal. The civic body had earlier issued a warning to a few persons who were found dumping waste into the canal, she said.