Kerala

Encroachment threat to Thettiyar canal

A view of the filled up plot of land of which the stream was a part.  

The Thettiyar canal, which has reduced in size over the past decade, is now facing yet another crisis with destruction of one of its sources near Pothencode.

One of the origin streams located in Ayiroorpara ward in the Pothencode panchayat in the outskirts of the capital district has been filled up in recent days.

The Thettiyar consists of three separate streams that originate in different parts of the district and converge at Moonattumukku, near Kulathur junction. Residents near a large plot of land which was being filled up brought it to the attention of the panchayat authorities, who halted the work on Friday.

“I had gone to the Kallikode area as part of a function, when the issue of revival of the Thenganamkodu pond was brought to my attention. That is when we found that a stream which serves as water source for the pond and for the Thettiyar dowstream, has been filled up.

Small hills in this area have been destroyed and a large plot of land of about 5 acres has been filled up by a private party, without taking any permission from the panchayat. We informed the police, who have taken an earth mover into custody. The RDO has also been informed about it. Those responsible will be asked to restore the stream,” said T.R.Anil, Pothencode Panchayat president.

According to Natarajan, a resident of the area, the Thenganamcode pond was a source of water for irrigation as well as for washing purposes for the people living in the area for a long time. The pond used to have water even in the heights of summer.

In 2018, the Thettiyar Mission was launched to revive the canal, which has in recent years become a pale shadow of its self, with encroachment and dumping of waste by institutions and households. Parts of the stream flows through the Technopark and other IT company campuses near Kazhakuttam, and drains into the Akkulam Lake.

As part of the Thettiyar Mission, cleanup drives and works to increase the depth and width of the stream were taken up in some areas.

During elections

“The Thettiyar's sources have been affected over the years in various parts. In Pothencode now, the source has been completely destroyed. Such large scale filling up happen during elections, when officials will not be noticing it,”says environmentalist S.J.Sanjeev of Environmental Protection And Research .

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 10:01:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/encroachment-threat-to-thettiyar-canal/article34015012.ece

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