The rejuvenation and beautification of abandoned ponds have picked up steam in Ernakulam.
Six such waterbodies were shortlisted for restoration under a joint initiative by the Haritha Keralam Mission and the Department of Local Self-Government. Financial assistance from Cochin Shipyard Ltd. was also utilised for the project.
Among the six ponds, beautification work on the Amballurkavu pond in Amballur panchayat has been completed. The pond, spread over 50 cents, was given a facelift after adopting environment-friendly methods like wall strengthening and pond bank stabilisation efforts.
Work on the remaining five ponds is at various stages. “These include Pavamkulangarakulam in Thripunithura, Pannikuzhi Chira in Vadavucode-Puthencruz panchayat, Chirakadamoola Chira in Thiruvaniyoor panchayat, Mulapan Chira in Rayamangalam and Manikyamangalam Chira in Kalady grama panchayat. Cochin Shipyard had earmarked ₹35-lakh funding for the six ponds under its corporate social responsibility initiative,” said Sujith Karun, District Coordinator of Haritha Keralam Mission.
Several ponds in the district had been cleaned up as part of the ‘Ente Kulam’ project aimed at reviving abandoned water bodies. However, the project to carry out pond stabilisation and side wall strengthening was undertaken on the inference that such works would give a fresh lease of life for water bodies. The primary objective is to enhance the overall ecosystem and improve the water quality in ponds to meet the increasing water scarcity this summer.
As per the project document, local communities play a major role in the successful implementation of the pond rejuvenation project by protecting water bodies from ecological deterioration.
They are also responsible for checking the condition of the ponds besides reviewing maintenance works on a periodical basis. The panchayats will be responsible for maintaining the cleaned-up ponds by involving the public.