KOCHI:The shovels and rakes are out there again, trying to salvage the Perandoor Canal. But the million dollar question lingers. Will the canal’s fortunes change for better or worse? Despite several cleaning drives over the years, it has remained as black as ever.
Clogged with filth, the stinking canal has been a breeding ground for mosquitoes, causing water-logging during rains and making life miserable for those residing on the banks.
That this is the first effort after the culvert at Kaloor was raised in connection with the Kochi Metro Rail work is a cause for optimism. While inaugurating the clean-up of the stretch from the Kaloor culvert to the Pullepady bridge on Tuesday, Mayor Soumini Jain rued the condition of the canal.
“Sewage, bio-waste, slaughterhouse-waste and trash from homes are dumped into it. Even though the Corporation spends around Rs 7 crore before the monsoons to clean water bodies, they remain polluted because of waste dumping,” she said.
The Mayor said the “worst polluted water body in the city” could be restored only if residents desisted from dumping waste in it. She exhorted people to come forward to make Kochi a clean city.
The clean-up exercise was carried out with the assistance of CMFRI and the participation of 30 students from Lisie
Hospital’s Social Work Department. Local residents on both sides of the canal also pitched in along with Councillor MG Aristotle. They succeeded in partly removing waste near the culvert, which blocked the flow of water. The Mayor said, as part of the Central Government’s AMRUT project, Rs 20 crore had been allotted for cleaning the canal. “We are planning to clean Perandoor Canal and install fences on both banks to prevent dumping of waste.
However, Rs 20 crore will not be enough. The Corporation will set apart some of its funds for it,” she said.
MLA Hibi Eden said a joint venture comprising residents and the Corporation was essential for a clean Kochi.
Corporation Standing Council Chairman Gracy Joseph said a survey had revealed 1,600 houses in the city did not have sanitation facilities.
Lisie Hospital director Fr Thomas Vaikathuparambil and Aristotle also spoke on the occasion.