THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A sprawling IT village nearby has been spelling doom for the Thettiyar canal, near Kallingal in the outskirts of the city, for years now. The canal, which passes through the land included in the Technopark Phase I, has received yet another blow as a portion of it was landfilled by an IT company, reportedly for building a bridge. The local people, who smelled a rat, confronted the IT officials on Thursday demanding the restoration of the canal at the earliest.
According to the local people in and near Kallingal and Attipra, around 200 metres of the canal which passes through the compound of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd inside the Technopark campus was landfilled allegedly by the company authorities for building a bridge. The local people, led by the councillor of the area, and Union workers entered the construction site of TCS and brought the landfilling work to a halt.
City Express in September 2011 had carried a detailed report on how the canal was turning into a garbage dump ever since high-rises came up in the area. The residents of Kallingal had accused the same company of opening their drains into the canal through pipes then.
‘’We had cemented the mouths of the pipes later, stopping the flow of drains to the canal. But landfilling a canal is stretching the limits. The people here have always welcomed development, but that does not mean our water sources can be killed forever by filling them with garbage,’’ said a representative of Kallingal Residents’ Association.
‘’The company officials say that they have received permission from the Irrigation Department to fill the ‘thodu.’ But we don’t believe it. Besides, if what they want is to build a bridge, they could always spare the canal and build one over it. They told us that it was some new technology for which some landfilling was required, which is absurd. New technologies are bound to consider Nature and not the reverse,’’ said Attipra councillor M S Sangita.
The local people say that another IT company nearby had landfilled a portion of the canal some years back to build its own campus, leading to water-logging in the area. The same would be repeated with dire consequences if the landfilling continues, they said.
Though City Express contacted the officials of TCS, they were not available for comments. However, councillor Sangita said that following a talk with the company officials, they were temporarily restoring the canal.
‘’We have agreed for a meeting on Monday with the Technopark officials, but we need the canal restored before that, or the local people would go in for a major agitation in front of the campus,’’ she said.