The Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation has come up with a new project titled Integrated urban regeneration and development of waterways in Kochi aimed at restoring canals in the city for water transportation. As per the detailed project report, five major canals in the city, at a total length of 34.5 km will be revamped and restructured.
KOCHI: To regain the lost glory of Kochi canals, which were once an effective navigable route for traders to reach Ernakulam Broadway and other commercial centres, the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) has come up with a new project.
Titled “Integrated urban regeneration and development of waterways in Kochi”, a draft detailed project report of the project was prepared by NATPAC.
Briefing media here on Monday, KSINC chairman and managing director Tom Jose said the project with an estimated budget of Rs 1364.92 crore will be implemented in two phases.
“We are looking into the possibilities of availing funds from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) as well as multi-lateral funding options. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is very particular about this project, considering the prominent position that Kochi holds in Kerala's economic growth,” Jose added.
As per the DPR, five major canals in the city at a total length of 34.5 km will be revamped and restructured. The canals include Edappally canal (length: 11.23km), Thevara canal (1.405km), Thevara-Perandoor canal (11.15 km), Chilavannoor canal (9.88 km) and Market canal (0.644 km).
“The biggest challenge will be the rehabilitation and resettlement of families residing on the banks of the canals. Our initial focus will be on the rehabilitation. We will identify appropriate places with the help of councillors and Kochi Corporation officials. Another public sector undertaking- Kerala Bhavanam Foundation (KBF) has agreed to come up with the construction of buildings for the rehabilitation,” added Jose.
A total of 1160 people will have to be evacuated in the first phase while another 2,770 people are to be evicted during the second phase. Under the first phase, 193 structures/buildings/houses at purambokke land will have to be removed while during the second phase, another 484 structures will have to be evicted.
“Out of the total 677 buildings, 417 are houses and the families in these houses will be rehabilitated,” said Jose. The desilting of the canals will also be carried out in the first phase.
Meanwhile, the engineering works including dredging, construction and strengthening of the sidewalls and other works including the restructuring of existing culverts and bridges to make the canals navigable will be carried out in the second phase. The KSINDC officers also presented the DPR before the local body heads and people's representatives on Monday. “We have put forth the request to include Rameswaram-Kalvathy canal and Karanakkodam canal too among the list of canals selected for the project. We also hope that the cleaning of canals ahead of the implementation of the project will help in solving the water logging crisis which hits the city hard during the slightest trace of rain,” she said.