THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A simple cascade aeration method has proved successful in containing the weed menace in Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple pond. Spirulina Plantesis, the fast-growing algae had posed a challenge to the Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra (KSNK) engaged in the renovation of the pond.
“Aeration was one of the suggestions by the International Research and Training Centre (IRTC) for below sea level farming in Alappuzha. It has borne fruit,” said Jayan Raveendran, KSNK chief engineer.
The IRTC had opined that the moderately warm temperature and highly alkaline nature of the pond water favoured the growth and proliferation of this species.
The lime mortar used in the traditional style of reconstruction too spurred the growth of the algae. As per the centre’s suggestion, grass carp and tilapia fishes are also being grown in the pond to check the algae’s growth. According to KSNK, the pH level of the pond water was reduced from seven to eight.
It will further be brought down to seven once the ‘jalajapam’ ritual ends. The renovation was conducted as part of the centre’s Swadesh Darshan scheme.
KSNK renovated the damaged mandapams, stone steps, sidewall and the portion of the thantri madom.
The works were supervised by former director of the State Archeology Department, S Hemachandran.
The renovation was carried out in adherence to the traditional architectural style in which the structure was originally built. KSNK completed the work at a cost of `4 crore, which is below an earlier Tourism Department estimate of Rs 7 crore.