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Demand for boat service connecting Ernakulam and Kakkanad

Kochi Bureau
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Service to cover Vytilla-Kakkanad stretch in 15-20 minutes

The residents of Thrikkakara municipality are eagerly waiting for their new councillors to assume office. For, the residents, under the aegis of the Thrikkakara Residents' Associations Apex Council (TRAAC), have readied a development agenda for the region, to be placed before the municipal council for its perusal.

One of the important proposals in the document is to start the Ernakulam-Kakkanad boat service, said Anil Kumar, general secretary, TRAAC. He said that the boat jetty at Kakkanad could be easily revived. Support of the Kochi Corporation should also be sought in the endeavour.

The boat service is estimated to cover the Vytilla-Kakkanad stretch in 15 to 20 minutes. The mode of transport will be pollution-free and reasonable considering the cost of transport, he said.

A detailed master plan for the development of the municipality and a development forum for Thrikkakara are some of the other proposals in the agenda.

Tourism corridor

The coastal stretch of Chellanam lies between two popular tourist destinations—Fort Kochi and Alappuzha—and yet remains one of the most underdeveloped areas, complain the residents of the area.

“We see many tourists moving across these two tourist points and we do not have any infrastructure to tap the tourism potential of the area. We are presently working on a comprehensive project to develop the region as a tourism corridor between Fort Kochi and Alappuzha,” said Julappan, president of the Chellanam Agri and Tourism Development Society.

The residents are calling for more connectivity to the mainland, for a beginning. This could be done by increasing the services of the Thiru-Kochi buses. Presently, they have one operating along Kannamali. The increase in services will help the labourers, who go as far as Kottayam and come back on a daily basis, and also the fishermen community that dominates the coast.

Water-logging

The People's Action Council in West Kochi has a demand to the new Mayor, to find an immediate and lasting solution to the water-logging problem in the area. Water-logging in the area is caused by the improper maintenance of the Rameswaram and Calvethy canals. This is worsened by the emptying of the septic tanks in the region to the canals. The Corporation authorities had not acted on the complaints that have been raised over all these years, officials of the council complained.

Demand for a thorough study on the renovation and maintenance works done on these arterial canals has now been made.

The council also urged the residents in West Kochi to take up the issue with their respective councillors and ensure that funds are released immediately to clean up the main canal as well as feeder canals.

Snail menace

The residents of Palluruthy are faced with a new menace. Earlier they were pestered with the swarm of mosquitoes, as the canals in the areas remain clogged round the year. But they are now at a loss on how to counter the presence of snails in the area. The dampness caused by the recent rain has led to a sudden increase in the number of snails. “All we can do is sprinkle salt on these creatures and sweep up the dead ones for disposal,” said one resident in the area.

For mosquito menace, the local residents have been demanding civic authorities to carry out the dredging of the canals and removing the garbage.

Pollution issues

The pollution caused by the plywood units at Rayamangalam and Vengola panchayats in Perumbavoor has been a cause for concern for the residents. There had been a series of protests against the setting up of the units in reclaimed agricultural land. More than 100 units are operating in the two panchayats.

People had been opposing the setting up of the units in paddy farming areas and the employment of migrant workers in the units. They had complained of the danger of contamination of drinking water sources by the untreated effluents.

A study conducted by the Health Department officials had revealed that the area is vulnerable to contagious diseases due to poor sanitation. The operation of the plywood units amidst residential and agricultural areas has worsened the situation, according to local sources.

(Contributions from M. P. Praveen, Anand Haridas and R. Ramabhadran Pillai)

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