THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water bodies in and around the city will get a new lease of life with the authorities planning to use them to meet the potable water needs of the city. This move comes as a blessing for these water bodies which have never featured in any of the development process.
In a recent meeting, the District Development Committee (DDC) has decided to revive water bodies in the district. The decision comes in continuation of the state government’s plan to launch Haritha Keralam mission for a proper water governance.
The district has enough water bodies that can provide potable to the areas facing scarcity. The local bodies in the district too have come up with their own plans to align with the Haritha Keralam mission objective.
“Corporation is planning to revive water bodies such as Karamana river, Killiyar, Parvathy Puthanar and Amayizhanjan canal as part of the campaign under the mission,” said Health Standing Committee chairperson K Sreekumar. Corporation will be launching a campaign for better waste management since it is one of the prerequisites for rejuvenating water bodies. It has been allocated Rs 20 crore for rejuvenating water sources. Dumping of septage and other waste lakes, ponds and rivers continue to be a big challenge.
The district panchayat announced a project called ‘Jalasree’ which aims at addressing the acute water shortage in the district. It will be implemented in four stages. A survey of water sources in the district will be carried out and it will be followed by a water literacy campaign. Well and water bodies will be recharged in eco-friendly manner. Major water bodies in the district will be protected under the coordination of district planning council. Vellayani lake, Anchuthengu lake and Aruvikara dam will be protected under the plan.
Kattakada MLA, I B Sathish has taken the lead in Jalasamrudhi project which aims to conserve and rejuvenate water resources in the constituency. Kattakada assembly constituency, which shares two major rivers and many water bodies, has an important place in the water governance in the district.
Spread over 113.8 sq km, it is dotted with streams running for nearly 300 km, besides 31 km of irrigation canals. It has 314 big and small ponds and over 43,000 wells. A steep fall in rainfall from 2,427 mm in 2004 to 1,197 mm in 2016 that considerably reduced the water table resulted in the drawing up of the Jalasamrudhi project.
The district faced acute water shortage in the last few summers. The city with increasing water demand cannot depend only on traditional water resources such as the reservoirs. The water level of Peppara dam, the only source of water to the city, cannot be relied upon considering the monsoon deficit.
During the past summers water was pumped from Neyyar reservoir to Aruvikara to augment the water supply. A permanent mechanism to pump water from Neyyar will take a few more years. The city needs more than 300 million litres of water every day.
Water scarcity has been acute in the adivasi area, scheduled caste colonies, coastal and high range areas during summers. The situation called for procuring water from newer sources such as ponds, granite and clay quarries etc and supply the recycled water.