KERALA

Waterways to be developed with Central aid

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM SEPT. 6. The Government proposes to take up development of a few smaller waterways with Central assistance.

Projects are under preparation or consideration for Vadakara-Mahe, Kotti-Kottappuram, Athirampuzha-Kaipuzha-Kumarakom and Mahe-Valapattanam links. The Cannoli Canal in Kozhikode is also proposed to be developed.

The State will get 90 per cent of the project cost as Central assistance for these projects.

Now, the State is getting assistance for development of the waterways under the Kerala State Water Transport Project funded by the World Bank.

Currently, studies are under way at Kumarakom, Vaikom and other places on presence of pesticides in the drudged material from the canals there. The water hyacinth is also subjected to the study to determine the means for its disposal. Hyacinth is known to accumulate heavy metals and other pollutants. It would be examined whether it could be safely disposed of or used for various purposes. Official sources said that preliminary studies did not show much pesticide residues in the sediments in the canals.

Meanwhile, the State Government requests for extension of the Inland Waterway No. III, funded by the Centre, is awaiting clearance of the Union Government. The State wants the waterway to be extended from Kottappuram to Kasaragod in the north and from Kollam to Kovalam in the south. This is expected to benefit tourism and other industries. The Ministry of Shipping has accepted the proposal.

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