The Kerala High Court has directed the Kochi Corporation to give its response regarding the implementation of measures suggested by the Superintendent Engineer, Minor Irrigation, Ernakulam, for maintaining the free flow of water through Rameswaram and other canals in West Kochi.
Justice Devan Ramachandran issued the directive when a petition filed by the Kochi Residents’ Association Coordination Committee came up for hearing. The Superintendent Engineer had suggested that the blockages at various locations be cleared for the inter-connectivity of canals.
The report also recommended that the portion from Kazhuthumuttu bridge to Rameswaram canal be widened by nearly 500-metres length to ensure the connectivity between Valummel canal and Rameswaram canal, without affecting the existing road. The sluice of Pandarachitra and Luka Kadath be modified by widening the waterway as it was built without taking into consideration of the flow of water.
Yet another suggestion is that Chiracakl and Kalathara bridges be reconstructed with wider vent-ways to allow free flow of water. The report also suggested reopening of the portion of Pallichal Thodu near Thompumpady covered with slabs and increasing the cross section to the maximum possible.
The Superintending Engineer recommended that Rameswaram canal be cleaned at the entry points and on the stretch between Cochin College and Kalvathy.
The berth construction near the Thopppumpady old bridge and the end of Kalvathy canal should be regulated and dumping of waste into canals should be prevented and treatment facilities should be set up by the Corporation, the report said.
The culverts, which have reduced vent-ways and low clearance, should be reconstructed. All the canal boundaries should be demarcated by the Revenue authorities.
It further stated that the Corporation or any other agencies inside the flow area of canals take prior approval from the government department concerned before undertaking construction activities.
The court also directed the corporation to state the steps taken to enable Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) to execute the work of vacuum sewer network and sewage treatment plant (STP) in divisions 1,2,3,4 and 5. The work has come to a halt due to public protests against the construction of the STP.
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