Geotextiles to shore up district’s waterbodies

The Haritha Keralam Mission has drawn out an ambitious plan to strengthen the walls of ponds by using coir geotextiles and by planting vetiver (ramacham) saplings.  

Twenty-five of the nearly 300 ponds in Ernakulam rejuvenated under the ambitious Ente Kulam initiative will soon get another facelift.

The Haritha Keralam Mission has drawn out an ambitious plan to use coir geotextiles to strengthen their walls and plant vetiver (ramacham) saplings as part of the pond bank stabilisation efforts beginning this month.

Enhance ecosystem

The objective is to enhance the overall ecosystem and improve the water quality in the 25 ponds to meet the increasing water scarcity this summer. The selection of the 25 ponds will be made after reviewing the number of regions reeling under severe water crisis.

“Coir geotextiles and vetiver will offer natural strengthening process in place of concrete and rubble. The pond ecosystem will receive a boost by using such environment-friendly methods,” said Sujith Karun, Coordinator, Haritha Keralam Mission, Ernakulam.

Coir geotextiles are loosely woven coir mats that can be used to strengthen the walls of rainwater harvesting pits and banks of ponds and streams. It will provide a natural strengthening process to the walls of ponds and streams by preventing soil erosion.

The government is already using them for water conservation and water harvesting programmes across the State. Mr. Karun said that coir geotextiles will be ideal for side wall stabilisation in all water conservation activities.

Preventing soil erosion

Hundreds of vetiver saplings will be planted on the banks of the ponds. The authorities hope that the soil binding and drought-resistant medicinal herb will be useful to prevent soil erosion. The roots of the grass grow 2 to 4 metres downward and help in checking the runoff of surface water.

Mr. Sujith said that the enhancement of the 25 ponds will be done in association with local bodies and other stakeholders of the Ente Kulam project, which was launched in December 2015.

Volunteers of Anbodu Kochi, a voluntary organisation originally formed to coordinate relief work in Kochi to help victims of the December 2015 floods in Chennai, will be among the key partners of the conservation project.

Local communities play a major role in the successful implementation of the pond rejuvenation project by protecting waterbodies from ecological deterioration. They are also responsible for checking the condition of the ponds besides reviewing maintenance works on a periodical basis.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 1:35:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/geotextiles-to-shore-up-districts-waterbodies/article26549152.ece

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