Thiruvananthapuram

Akkulam Lake shrank by 1,727 cents since 2003

GIS survey maps current condition of lake

A geographic information system (GIS) survey of Akkulam Lake and its periphery has found that 1,727 cents of the lake area has been lost since 2003.

The survey was undertaken as part of the first phase of the Mission Akkulam lake restoration project. Mission Akkulam is an offshoot of Revive Vellayani, a drive by the Swasthi Foundation and the State government.

The GIS survey, conducted by P.G. Vinod, S. Nalinakumar, and V.R. Remya using state-of-the-art satellite imagery, focussed on mapping the current condition of a stretch of Akkulam Lake from the Akkulam boat club to the Akkulam bridge, covering an area of 39.36 hectares.

The survey report highlights the loss of geographic area of the lake. From 46.37 ha in 2003, the lake shrunk to 40.77 ha in 2011 and 39.38 ha in 2019.

Human activities

The report also details the impact of human activities on the lake. Streams such as the Kannammoola, formed by the confluence of the Ulloor and Pattom streams and the Amayizhanchan canal, and the Kulathur stream drain into the lake. Numerous houses and slums are situated along these streams. Sewage from the houses, domestic waste, and industrial waste have polluted these streams and the lake.

Today, the lake is clogged with water hyacinth. The sides of the lake are polluted by dumped garbage, burnt plastic, covers, and even construction waste. Unused boats, all rusty, make matters worse.

Without proper sewerage in areas surrounding the lake, sewage gets dumped into the lake. Hospital waste too is a source of pollution. A bund built for the construction of Akkulam bridge in 2000 has not been removed till now. This prevents free movement of water from the lake to the sea, leading to proliferation of the hyacinth.

Highly polluted

A water quality analysis of a sample collected from near the boat club found that the water was highly polluted.

The report, prepared following a month-long research and survey by the research team of the Swasthi Foundation, was released recently in the chamber of Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran who is also the chairman of Mission Akkulam.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:20:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/akkulam-lake-shrank-by-1727-cents-since-2003/article30832484.ece

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