Survey reveals large-scale encroachment along Onjithodu in Aluva

A government survey has revealed around 64 encroachments along Onjithodu, which flows through Alangad and Kadunagalloor panchayats in Aluva.

The survey was carried out with the help of Onjithodu Janakeeya Samrakshana Samithi, a collective of local residents and environmentalists that had approached the Kerala High Court seeking directives to remove the encroachments along the waterbody and restore it to its original condition. The unchecked encroachments had reduced the area of Onjithodu, which branches out from Varattupuzha, a branch of the Periyar, from around 52 acres to a mere 10 acres over the years.

“The boudary stones have been laid in the original 52 acres based on the survey. It is now the responsibility of Alangad and Kadungalloor panchayats, which own the waterbody, to remove these 64 encroachments,” said K.S. Prakashan, convener of the Samithi. “The encroachments include godowns, buildings, and even a road built in Alangad by encroaching the rivulet. Of the 64 encroachments, 33 are in Alangad and the rest in Kadungalloor,” he said.

The survey has revealed that the original length of the waterbody was around 7.4 km. Mr. Prakashan said the Thevakkadathodu had to be restored to recover the original starting point of the waterbody. “The Irrigation department has to initiate steps to remove the encroachments and avoid waterlogging, especially during flooding, experienced in areas close to Onjithodu,” he said.

The Samithi has requested the government to include Onjithodu under the Operation Vahini project that aims at rejuvenating the streams leading to the Periyar river.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 10:41:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/survey-reveals-large-scale-encroachment-along-onjithodu-in-aluva/article65517559.ece