KIIFB project to develop Connolly Canal as waterway

No cleaning work has been taken up for the proper upkeep of Connolly Canal post-pandemic.

No cleaning work has been taken up for the proper upkeep of Connolly Canal post-pandemic.

The State government has launched a ₹1,118-crore project to develop the Connolly Canal into an important waterway. The State Cabinet gave in-principle approval to the project on Thursday. The funds will be sourced from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The main aims of the project will be goods movement, flood control in Kozhikode city, and tourism development. The depth and width of the canal will be expanded to the level of a waterway.

According to sources, intercept sewers and treatment systems will be installed to avoid pollution. Embankments of the canal will be beautified. The government is planning to develop Kozhikode as a ‘canal city’ and create jobs as well.

The corporation had taken up cleaning works and upkeep of the canal in association with non-governmental organisations a couple of years ago. However, post-pandemic, garbage has reportedly started blocking the water flow and the quality of water too has deteriorated.

The Kerala Waterways and Infrastructures Ltd. (KWIL) recently zeroed in on Lee Associates, a Canadian firm, to conduct a feasibility study and prepare a detailed project report (DPR) to develop the canal as a waterway. KWIL has been taking care of the canal for the past few years. Lee Associates will submit the DPR in less than six months.

Twenty-three bridges, including four on major roads, across the Conolly Canal will have to be raised so that boats could pass under them. They are on a low level now. Roads and houses along the 11.2-km canal connecting the Kallai River and Elathur River could be affected if the waterbody is widened.

KWIL officials had earlier said that some vacant government land available on the eastern side of the canal could be used if widening work has to be taken up. They had pointed out that the boundaries of the canal, constructed in 1848, had not been properly determined yet. Closing drainages that open into the canal and the development of a waste water disposal facility are likely to be considered.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 7:36:08 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kiifb-project-to-develop-connolly-canal-as-waterway/article65059203.ece