It took 13 years for the Konathukulangara pond in PTP Nagar ward to transform itself. Once a pond that covered over an acre in area, it used to supply all the irrigation needs of the paddy fields in the region. When the agricultural area gave way to concrete structures, the pond fell into disuse and eventually turned a dump yard. But over the past seven months, it has become a favourite haunt of swimmers, both beginners and experienced, from different parts of the city.
That is because now, with the tiled walls and steel railing lining the 50 m x 25 m body water of water, not to mention the path that runs around, it looks very much like a fancy swimming pool. Which it is; but the water that fills the pool is no artificially treated stuff brought in from outside. Rather, it is natural ground water that fills up the pool and later makes its way into the Maruthankuzhi canal.
“The pond floor has not been covered in tiles or concrete, and the aquifer is undisturbed,” said Balachandran Nair, convenor of the committee - comprising representatives of the four surrounding residents’ associations, different political parties, Kudumbashree and the Sports and Arts Club - that is responsible for the upkeep of the pond.
Through years of disuse, he added, its sides had begun to be encroached upon and filled in. “Now it’s around 50 cents or more, but only a fraction of its former size,” said Nair.