KOCHI: A long time ago, it was a busy waterway that connected small town Angamaly to the bustling trade town Paravur. Years, tonnes of garbage and developmental activities later, the Manjaly thodu merely became a reminder of the glorious past. The other day, local organisations and institutions unveiled ‘Thelineer’, an ambitious project to revive the Manjaly thodu and its distributaries, in Angamaly.
As part of the Thelineer project, the canal beginning from the premises of the Cochin International Airport will be cleaned and its banks deepened under the sponsorship of the schools, colleges, hospitals, organisation and associations functioning in the area. “For this, the canal will be sectioned to five to six areas. The sponsors can concentrate on the area assigned to them. The sponsors, during the inauguration, took an oath to protect the water body from henceforth,” said MA Gracy, Angamaly municipal chairperson.
“Thelineer is not a government-run project. It is a social project created out of the genuine need to revive Manjaly thodu from Nayathode Thura near the airport to Moonnuthode in Karayamparambu,” said Benny Moonjely, former municipal chairperson who is also active in the revival project.
Unlike the previous efforts to revive Manjaly thodu, residents say the project will have a long-lasting effect. “This is mainly because the filth and water hyacinth in the canal were washed away during the floods. Now, waste dumping needs to be prevented,” said N A Thomas, a local resident. Furthermore, according to the municipal chairperson, Cochin International Airport Ltd has conducted a study to protect Manjaly thodu in the long run.
The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) in Kozhikode has been directed to study the source of pollution and what can be done to revive the canal. “A survey was conducted and a draft report was created. Before finalising the report, stakeholders will be consulted and their feedbacks will be taken. This is for the revival of the canal spanning different constituencies,” said Roji M John MLA.
This is not the first time efforts have been made to revive the water body. Before the deluge that shook the entire state, the municipality authorities had cleaned Manjaly thodu in their jurisdiction. “However, the condition of the thodu remained the same after people continued dumping waste into it,” said Gracy.