ELURU: The centuries-old Krishna-Eluru Canal is now filled with silt comprising garbage and plastic waste generated from the Eluru city, allegedly due to the negligence of municipal and irrigation officials.
The canal, which was constructed by Sir Arthur Cotton in the 19th century during the British regime, has hardly witnessed any change in its fate over the last six decades.
The canal flows through the Eluru city, separating One Town and Two Town areas. Besides meeting the drinking water needs of the city, the canal is also the main source of irrigation for the 58,000-acre ayacut in Eluru, Denduluru and Pedapadu mandals. However, the canal bed is now silting up with garbage and plastic wastes from Old Bus Stand area to the Postal Colony. Further, with the mushrooming of hotels and shops on the canal bunds, the canal is shrinking by its width and being filling up with the garbage being produced by these business establishments.
As a result, thick layers of silt formed on the canal bed, making the supply of water to the city a tough task, both in terms of quality and quantity. On average, 1,700 cusecs of water flows annually through the 3-metre deep Eluru-Krishna canal. But, unabated dumping of garbage is hindering the smooth water flow. Heavy slit deposition up to a height of 50 cm makes it more difficult.
The shopkeepers, most of them encroachers, dump the garbage in the canal every day. Adding to the misery, there is rapid growth of weeds in the canal. In the Old Bus Stand area, opposite the municipal corporation, sanitary workers of the civic body are dumping the garbage collected from the houses right under the nose of the authorities, but it is yet to catch attention of the officials.
Municipal commissioner Y Sai Srikanth has admitted that due to rampant dumping of garbage, some sanitation issues have also cropped up in that area. “We are creating awareness among hoteliers, and other locals against dumping garbage and plastics in the canal. Even after repeated warnings, the dumping continues unabated,” he said.
He claimed that notices have already been served to people living on the canal bund. The officials are now planning to initiate stern action against the erring hoteliers and the hawkers.
Speaking to Express, Krishna Eastern Delta executive engineer M Satyanarayana complained that despite repeated warnings, people along the bund especially in Eluru town, are dumping garbage without any concern for the canal which serves their drinking water needs. He blamed the municipal corporation for its failure in preventing dumping of garbage especially plastics and wastes in the canal. “Every year, contract is awarded to remove silt in the canal as it is a continuous process. We will take up the desiltation programme this year before the Khariff season,” he added.