Clean channels before northeast monsoon: Coimbatore activists and residents

Blockages hinder the flow of water towards the tanks in the River Noyyal system.   | Photo Credit: SIVA SARAVANAN S

At Sai Nagar, Podanur, an earth mover is moving back and forth on the Vellalore canal bund. The machine operator is removing water weeds from the canal and bushes on the interior of the bund.

The Public Works Department had deployed the earth mover a few days ago to plug a breach on the canal in the very area. Following southwest monsoon rain in the last couple of weeks, water flow in River Noyyal increased and as a consequence the flow in the canal too increased.

But because of blockages, the water could not flow towards the tank and breached the bund at Sai Nagar, said R. Manikandan, coordinator, Kovai Kulangal Pathugappu Amaipu, a water conservation NGO.

There was a breach in canal last year as well, no far from where the breach happened a few days ago, Mr. Manikandan recalled and pointed out that the reason for both the breaches was the same – canal choked with waste affecting water flow.

In the 6.50 km-long canal that branches off River Noyyal in Anaimedu, near Athupalam, to take water to the Vellalore tank, solid waste is dumped both into the canal and on the bund, some of it by those who deal in scrap and are within the first four km of the canal.

There are encroachments on the canal bund, including electricity poles and then the sewage flowing into the canal to aid the growth of water weeds and bushes.

The presence of electricity poles and low hanging house connection wires made difficult the use of heavy machinery for dredging the canal and removing bushes, Mr. Manikandan said.

The condition of Sanganoor Canal near Dhanalakshmipuram is no different. The residents there said that they had drawn the Coimbatore Corporation’s attention to solid waste choking the flow of water in the Canal.

Saravana Kumar, a resident of the area, said the residents had taken up the issue with the Corporation on various platforms and sent reminders as well but the civic body had done little to remove the waste.

With northeast monsoon only a few days away and Coimbatore predicted to receive good rain, the activists and residents say they want both the Public Works Department and Coimbatore Corporation to clean natural drains – remove bushes and blockages and dredge wherever possible to ensure that rain water reached the tanks in the River Noyyal system.

Officials said they were aware of the problems and were working to clean the channels.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 12:21:23 PM |

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