Peruvanmadu canal in Feroke municipality restored to past glory

Restoration work in progress at the Peruvanmadu canal in Feroke municipality in Kozhikode district.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

From being a stinking garbage dump a few years ago, the Peruvanmadu canal in Feroke municipality in Kozhikode district is now a clean and free flowing waterbody, complete with sidewalls.

Over the last two years, the canal underwent a complete makeover through the combined efforts of the Haritha Keralam Mission and the Feroke municipality besides the Suchitwa Mission, the Irrigation Department, various environmental organisations, schoolchildren and the local people.

The Peruvanmadu canal, which borders Divisions 38 and 1 of Feroke municipality, is around 600 metres long, 3.5 metres wide, and 4.5 metres deep. The century-old canal was constructed to support the coir industry, but it became defunct when the industry crumbled and the local people changed vocation. Later, it became a garbage dump and the flow of water stopped when the entrance and exit got blocked with silt from the Chaliyar river. The dirty water accumulated in parts of the canal made it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects, affecting the general health of the residents on the banks.

“We could not walk on the banks of that canal without covering our noses,” said P. Prakashan, district coordinator of the Haritha Keralam Mission, recalling his first visit to the area.

When the Haritha Keralam Mission took up the renovation of the canal as part of the launch of its project ‘Ellavarum Jalashayangalilekku” (Everyone to waterbodies) in November 2018, there was opposition, especially from a section of the local people who wanted it filled as it was of no use to them. But the officials, with the help of local ward councillors Afsal and Suhrabi, convinced them about the restoration. The work started in December that year.

“It had become a necessity of the locality. The local people were ready with manpower while even expatriates contributed to the fund,” said Mr. Prakashan. Once the silt and shrubbery were cleared using advanced machines, the flow of water in the canal was restored by the end of the month.

In 2019-20, the Feroke municipality put up fiber nets on both ends of the canal to prevent garbage and silt entering it. Stock pits were set up in every house on the banks to prevent dirt flowing into the canal from the houses. In 2020, the sidewalls were built with the help of the Irrigation Department using a grant from the 15th Finance Commission.

The Feroke municipality is now assessing the possibilities of using the canal for pisciculture and tourism.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:36:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/peruvanmadu-canal-in-feroke-municipality-restored-to-past-glory/article35516787.ece

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