Kochi city to have drainage mapping and cleaning calendar soon, corporation tells HC

The corporation submitted a list of drains where cleaning activities were conducted recently. However, the court expressed its doubts regarding the cleaning work held at these drains.
Representative image
Representative image

KOCHI: Kochi Corporation on Friday submitted before the Kerala High Court that a drain mapping project and cleaning calendar will be launched in Kochi soon.

The submission was made before a bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas and Justice Gopinath P which was considering a suo motu case into waste management in the state, particularly in Kochi following the fire at Brahmapuram waste treatment plant last year.

The corporation submitted a list of drains where cleaning activities were conducted recently. However, the court expressed its doubts regarding the cleaning work held at these drains and asked whether it has happened only on paper. One of the judges said that a drainage near his house has also found a place on the list. However, he never saw any cleaning of the drain taking place there in the last one year.

To this, corporation secretary Chelsasini V, who was present at the hearing, submitted that the civic body will be conducting drain mapping to track drains and the flow of water in them. She said that Kochi currently has no system to monitor its drainage network.

According to her, Cochin Smartcity Mission Ltd (CSML) will be entrusted with the drain mapping project. Similarly, the corporation will roll out a cleaning calendar soon. The de-silting work will be conducted as per the calendar every year, she said.

Usually the cleaning work starts in March. However, this time it was delayed and could be started only in May. She said that one of the reasons for the delay was issues with the contractors.

The court opined that de-silting activities are mainly conducted during high-tide instead of low-tide in Kochi. The court pointed out that flooding in Kochi worsened after 2018. It may be due to the silt accumulated in water bodies, including in the Periyar River, during the 2018 flood. Similarly, as part of de-silting, cleaning is limited to drainage channels. The silt accumulated at the mouth of these drainage lines linked to the main canals remains untouched affecting the flow of water. To this, Chelsasini assured that cleaning at the mouth of drainage network will be conducted.

The corporation secretary submitted that the canal near Stadium Link Road was cleaned thrice this year. However, still plastic waste accumulates in the canal causing waterlogging. Similar is the situation of Rameswaram Canal in the city.

The court ordered amicus curiae to identify places where plastic waste is accumulating in Kochi. Apart from this, consultation should be made with Kochi Port Trust regarding water hyacinth and waste present near Fort Kochi beach. The court will consider the case on June 28.

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