KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday sought the view of the District Collector, Kochi Corporation and Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) on a petition seeking to remove encroachment on Edappally and Kochappilly canals and restore the water channels to its original state.
When the petition came up for hearing, the court ordered to implead the Survey Department in the petition filed by KT Cheshire, Kadavanthara. According to him, these two canals were encroached upon by various builders and private individuals for their personal gain. As a result, the natural flow of water was affected.
The petitioner said the water channels had to be restored to its original state after evicting encroachers. With the width of the canals being reduced due to encroachments, rainwater from the city roads and other areas is not emptying into the sea through the canals. He pointed out that Chennai city was flooded two years ago because of encroachments on the water channels which were supposed to drain out rainwater.
Though the petitioner had approached the Ombudsman for local self-government institutions, his complaint was closed after recording the submission of Kochi Corporation that it had no control over the canals and hence had no power to order eviction of encroachments. The Ombudsman also asked him to approach the Irrigation Department as the canals were under their control.
Despite filing a representation before the Irrigation Department, no action was taken on this regard. Edappally canal was once used for transporting agricultural products and construction materials. However, the condition of the canal is now pathetic.
The petitioner also sought a directive to measure Edappally and Kochappilly canals on the basis of the old survey report and Google Maps under the supervision of KCZMA. Kochappilly and Edappally canals were the main water channels to drain out water from Ernakulam during rainy season.
Kochappilly canal starts from Chilavannoor backwaters and ends at Ponneth Thodu at Chilavannoor. The total length of Kochappilly canal is 1.5 km while its width is 7m. Similarly, Edappally canal starts from Muttarpuzha in East Chittoor and ends at Chitrapuzha at Tripunithura. The length of Edappally canal is 9.5 km and its average width is 30m.
The petitioner says
With the width of canals being reduced due to encroachments, rainwater from city roads and other areas is not emptying into the sea through canals. Chennai city was flooded two years ago because of encroachments on water channels.