THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first phase of the cleaning of Parvathy Puthanar canal stretching from Kovalam to Akkulam has been completed, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. He has also directed Kerala Waterways Infrastructure Limited (KWIL), the nodal agency which executes the cleaning mission, for the timely completion of the project. Pinarayi gave the direction following a review meeting held here.
"Parvathy Puthanar is getting a makeover. The KWIL has removed all waste and garbage accumulated on the canal for years from Kovalam to Akkulam. Therefore, the first phase of the project has come to an end.
Now, dredging is taking place to increase the depth of the canal for the free movement of boats and other ferry services," Pinarayi said in the Facebook post. The cleaning of the waterway was conducted using modern equipment like slit pusher and shredders. KWIL, an SPV formed by the state government and the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), was entrusted with the development of the canal to make it navigable at a cost of `150 crore. As per the proposal, the 18.5-km Kovalam-Akkulam Lake stretch has been developed in the first phase and made navigable with minimum land acquisition.
In the second phase, the two tunnels at Varkala will be cleaned so as to ensure a free flow of water from Kovalam to Kollam. The three-phase development of Parvathy Puthanar is being planned and that work - including cleaning of the canal and rehabilitating people living on its banks - will be undertaken in a time-bound manner.
As per the action plan, boat jetties and tourism villages will be set up at select places on the two sides of the canal from Kovalam to Kollam in the second phase of the project. The approximate length of the state's inland navigable waterways is 1,680 km. It includes the 590 km of the West Coast Canal from Neeleswaram to Kovalam in the South.