Mullassery canal restoration awaits administrative clearance, funds

The Irrigation Department has proposed a ₹10-crore project for the restoration of Mullassery canal.   | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

It will require around ₹10 crore and three months to clean up the Mullassery canal that flows through the city and free the city from inundation, according to the Irrigation Department.

A proposal mooted by the department for clearing obstructions and ensuring free flow of floodwaters through the canal has been submitted to the State authorities. Now, administrative sanction and funds for the project are awaited, said department officials.

This was one canal that was left unattended during Operation Breakthrough which was undertaken to free the city of flooding. Canal cleaning operations cannot be successful without clearing encroachments along its course. As many as 75 shops have come up on top of the canal, which need to be removed for the successful implementation of the project, said R. Baji Chandran, Superintending Engineer, Irrigation Department, who led the team of officials.

The bed level of the canal was found raised up to 1.5 metres using concrete along the canal stretch between the KSRTC bus station and railway station. The elevated bed level, which prevented free flow of water through the canal, needs to be removed using excavators. The removal of the concrete floor shall be carried out by ensuring that the nearby structures are not damaged, he said.

The construction of concrete retaining walls for the Mullassery canal has blocked a large number of small canals that used to drain into it. The block thus created prevented free flow of water from nearby areas and contributed to flooding. The block needs to be removed and canals reconnected again to ensure that floodwaters are carried away, Mr. Chandran explained.

The removal of encroachments on the canal will be a significant step towards freeing the city of flooding. Once the funds are released, the restoration work could be completed within three weeks. The experience the team gained through the implementation of Operation Breakthrough will help in cleaning up the canal, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 9:55:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/mullassery-canal-restoration-awaits-administrative-clearance-funds/article35574070.ece

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