Work on Rs.8.75 crore drainage canal begins to clean the river of pollutants
For the first time, Periakulam Municipality is taking massive efforts to protect Varaha River, flowing through the heart of the town.
With no proper drainage facilities, all domestic sewage and drainage water are being let in to the river directly.
Due to massive encroachments, indiscriminate discharge of untreated domestic sewage and damage of river banks owing to poor maintenance, the river has become a narrow stream of drainage water and a breeding centre of mosquitoes and flies.
In some areas, it is being used as a garbage dumping yard. Pigs wallow in the pool of drainage water and stray dogs roam on dry river bed posing grave threat to residents of Periakulam town.
To clean up the pathetic condition of the river, the municipality has started pouring in crores of rupees.
The municipality has plans to stop letting in sewage water being generated from houses near the river and to dispose it of safely.
In the second phase, it will implement underground drainage project in the town with sewage water treatment facility.
To begin with, the municipality has started constructing a three kilometer long drainage canal along the river bank to transport drainage water to a safe place for treatment.
The canal will be constructed on both side of the river to collect and dispose of sewage and drainage water. The canal will end near Tamil Nadu Transport Corporation Limited depot cum workshop.
A sum of Rs.8.75 crore has been allotted for this purpose and canal construction work commenced on Thursday.
The canal will be fully covered with cement slabs and will be used as a pedestrian walk along the river bank.
In the second phase, encroachments that narrowed the width of the river will be removed. It has been pointed out that many farmers were growing coconut trees in the river bed making it a narrow stream.
This resulted in low lying areas being marooned especially during the time of floods.
Reviving the river to its original size will ensure smooth flow of water without inundating nearby areas.
Reviving the river will not just be useful for the people but would also enhance the beauty of the town, said municipal officials.
The State Government had sanctioned Rs.12 crore for implementation of underground drainage project but as the municipality needs at least Rs.40 crore for this project an appeal has been made to the government to sanction more funds, they added.