Drain and canal clean-ups help local bodies along Periyar mitigate floods

The improved focus on cleaning up drains and streams in low-lying regions along the Periyar in Ernakulam has minimised the impact of the flooding triggered by incessant heavy showers, according to the representatives of various local bodies.

The clean-up was mainly carried out under the ‘Operation Vahini’ project to remove silt and waste in the streams and drains leading to the Periyar. Local bodies in flood-prone areas had utilised their own funds to carry out the project.

“Large quantities of silt were removed ahead of the monsoon and it helped in reducing the impact of the increase in water level in the river following heavy showers last week,” said Rosy Joshy, president of Puthenvelikkara grama panchayat.

“Thuruthipuram Puzha was cleaned under the Operation Vahini scheme of the Irrigation department, while Valiyathodu and Akathuchaal were cleaned under the panchayat’s own initiative. The ease of water flow improved considerably after silt and waste were removed,” she said.

V.A. Prabhavathi, chairperson of the North Paravur Municipality, said Pallithazhamthodu was cleaned as part of Operation Vahini. North Paravur was among the local bodies that had received the benefit of the project in its first phase of its implementation in Ernakulam, she added.

However, the Chairperson pointed out that the side walls of Pallithazhamthodu were damaged due to the movement of the earth remover deployed to clear silt and waste from the canal. As such works are not covered under the Vahini project, the municipality is forced to undertake the financial liability of the damage, she said.

Remya Thomas, president of Alangad block panchayat, said the flood situation in areas that often faced rain fury was better this time as removal of silt and waste prevented flooding. “Naranithodu at Nanthikkara in Karumaloor is also included under the Vahini project and steps have been taken to remove weeds and silt from the waterbody,” she said.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 6:59:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/drain-and-canal-clean-ups-help-local-bodies-along-periyar-mitigate-floods/article65753665.ece