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Vellayani lake restoration work on

Staff Reporter
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A fisherman sets out to work at dawn on the Vellayani lake. —File photo
A fisherman sets out to work at dawn on the Vellayani lake. —File photo

The first step to restore Vellayani Lake began last month with Revenue authorities carrying out a survey to demarcate the lake’s boundary. The work to identify the boundary line began on October 10 and it was expected to be completed in two months, said Rufus Daniel, vice-president, district panchayat.

Out of the original expanse of the lake, a vast area had vanished due to rampant encroachment over the years. Identifying the boundary of the lake is the first step towards the attempt to protect and restore the water body using funds to the tune of Rs 49.4 lakh set aside by the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Mr. Rufus told The Hindu .

The renovation programme taken up as per the recommendation of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management would see the participation of departments such as Revenue, Land Records, Water Resources, Fisheries and the Kerala Agricultural University, Agency for Development of Aquaculture (ADAC) and the Kudumbasree.

Under the programme, the Revenue Department, with the assistance of the Department of Survey and Land Records, will conduct a survey to demarcate the boundary of the lake.

The Kerala Agricultural University will provide bio-fencing and initiate steps to control weeds and promote lotus cultivation in the lake.

Further, the Water Resources Department has been entrusted with the task to de-silt the lake, strengthen bunds, and to conserve feeder canals.

While the Kudumbasree and Janasree will set up outlets for sale of organic farm products and fish caught from the lake, ADAC and the Fisheries Department would jointly take up controlled fresh water fish farming in the lake, an official of the district panchayat said.

With the aim to develop native species in the lake in a natural environment, the ADAC on Monday released seeds of locally preferred fish such as Karimeen and Varal, Mr. Rufus said.

The official said the civic body was in the process of preparing a plan towards construction of bridge in the bund at Kakkamoola, which separates the water body and a geo-textile protective cover to the lake.

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