TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : It was once relished for having a past that is interwoven with Thiruvananthapuram’s regal history. But the Karamana River, the main source for the city’s water supply scheme, had a fall from grace as it became an easy prey to the rapid urbanisation of the city. At a time when the mighty river is getting filled with all sorts of raw sewage and wastewater, a fresh lease of life is on the cards for it as the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) is set to open a biodiversity park on the banks of it. It is said the proposed park will not only attract people’s attention towards it but will also make them aware of the need to protect the river from pollution.
“A park of this kind is the first in the district. Its construction is entering into the final stage. Within two or three months, it will be opened to the public,” said K G Narayana Pillai, advisor and chief project coordinator, Karamana River Scientific Management (KRSM) (Pilot) Project. According to Narayana Pillai, it was after taking note of the rampant pollution being faced by the river that an idea of this kind was mooted and a decision to undertake the same under the KRSM (Pilot) Project was taken.
“When a plan was floated to sensitise people about the need to protect Karamana River, KSCSTE decided to construct a park there attracted by the serene and natural setting of the site,” says Narayana Pillai. “A park of a similar kind will also come up on the other side of the river, where the Irrigation Department owns some land.”
At the same time, KSCSTE officers said the park that will come at a two-acre plot near to the Government Boys HSS, Karamana, was infamous for anti-social activities and for being a place for open defecation.
Earlier, KSCSTE had said it will carry out a slew of initiatives during 2018-19 as part of the KRSM project.
According to the agency, some of the major programmes that were planning to be implemented include, providing gabion protection wall and net arrangement and preventing entry of floating wastages into Tiruvallom Thode and New Balikadavu, maintenance of existing fences on bridges across Karamana River, maintenance of Bund Road on the left side of Karamana NH Road Bridge to Azhankal Junction, renovation of sewer line at Sridevi Nagar and others. It was in 2013-14 that the KRSM project got launched. While the project is coordinated by KSCSTE, it is implemented and monitored by TRIDA and is executed by various line departments and institutions.
What do you know about Karamana river?
Karamana river originates from Agasthyarkoodam
Length of the mainstream - 68 km
Main tributaries - Kaviar, Attaiar, Vaiyapadiar, Todiyar
The Karamana river has the distinction of having two dams on it despite its relatively short length
Peppara Dam meant for irrigation on the upper reach of the river
And the Aruvikkara Dam meant for irrigation as well as drinking water supply to the Thiruvananthapuram City