KERALA

HC raps Kochi Corporation over canal desilting claims

A long way to go:A view of Mullassery canal in Kochi. The High Court has expressed its displeasure at the flood management system in the canal.File photoH_Vibhu

A long way to go:A view of Mullassery canal in Kochi. The High Court has expressed its displeasure at the flood management system in the canal.File photoH_Vibhu  

The Kochi Corporation has come under severe criticism from the Kerala High Court over the desilting of the Thevara-Perandoor canal and pollution abatement measures at its slaughterhouse at Kaloor. The court also expressed its displeasure at the flood management system in Mullassery canal.

Regarding the Mullassery canal project, Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad submitted that the District Collector and the team behind the Operation Breakthrough project were certain that if the restoration of the canal was not carried out to make water flow from east to west and the 12 link canals from Atlantis to Vaduthala, Punchathodu, and Kareethodu were not immediately restored, flooding could not be ruled out in the future. He submitted that the court might order to reserve Rs. 5 crore for completing the projects within 50 days.

The court impleaded the mission director, State Mission Management Unit of AMRUT projects, as an additional respondent in the case and directed him to file a statement on whether Rs. 5 crore could be reserved for the work.

The court came down on the civic body for its casual approach to the directive to inform the court of the pollution abatement measures taken by it at the slaughterhouse at Kaloor. The State Pollution Control Board too submitted that the corporation had not filed any response. The court gave the civic body a final chance to file a statement on the slaughterhouse and measures taken to mitigate pollution.

On the direction of the court to specify the quantity of silt removed from the Thevara-Perandoor canal and the money expended for the work, the corporation submitted that an an area of 1,79,825.488m3 had been excavated. However, the quantity disposed of was shown as only 54,129.92 m3.

The petitioner in the case submitted that the corporation’s stand that the canal had been desilted was without any factual basis, and that the work was carried out partially.

The court directed the Corporation Secretary to file an affidavit by August 21.

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