KOCHI: Following strict directive from the Kerala High Court, Operation Breakthrough, the project that aims to clear waterlogging issues in Kochi, will embark on its third phase ahead of the next monsoon. An estimate will be finalised by Monday
Operation Breakthrough was born in 2019, on an election day, when the entire city came to a standstill owing to a flash flood. The project had the sole aim of ensuring that such a calamity doesn’t repeat. Nevertheless, overflowing canals and waterlogging have been crippling the city during monsoons.This year, the Kerala High Court has directed the district collector to intervene if the corporation is incapable of handling the issue and find quick solutions.
Collector S Suhas convened a special meeting on April 16 to begin the third phase of Operation Breakthrough. The District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will also actively participate in the operation.
The district collector is also the chairman of DDMA, and the panchayat president is the co-chairperson.
The district police chief, district medical officer, fire and safety divisional officer, revenue divisional officer, and chief executive officer/ADM are also part of the authority.
EIGHT MILESTONES IN THIRD PHASE
“Eight different works will be completed in the third phase, as per High Court directives. A technical committee comprising irrigation engineers had convened on April 19. This committee will mark estimates for each of these projects and allocate them to respective departments.
Kochi corporation had allotted D4.28 crore to District Disaster Management Authority,” said S Shajahan, deputy collector in charge of disaster management in the district. There are 13 members in the technical committee, including executive engineers from the district administration and the corporation. The High Court directive also mandates that works can be allocated to agencies only based on a tender.
DEMARCATION OF CANALS MANDATORY
Estimates of the third phase of the project were expected to be submitted on April 23. Since it is being done on a short notice, the submission date can be extended till Monday, said Yasoda Devi, one of the members of the technical committee. Tender procedures will begin only after the estimate is made. Cleaning of the canals will fall under this.“We have requested the district collector to demarcate the boundaries of Perandoor Canal before the tendering process begins. The Revenue Department has to take initiative,” she added.
key areas of phase 2
The minor irrigation department of Ernakulam had prepared a report in August 2020 for Operation Breakthrough and it focused on nine key areas that need attention:
Desilting the mouth of Thevara backwaters
Renovation of Koithara Canal
Removal of blockages in Chilavannoor backwaters
Mullassery Canal renovation
Karanakodam stream renovation
Changadampokku Canal renovation
Reviving link canals between TP Canal and backwaters
Renovation of Edappally Thodu
Clearing Thevara - Perandoor Canal