KOCHI: After water logging affected the city of Kochi recently, the local self-government department of the Government of Kerala banned dumping of sewage and waste into the Thevara-Perandoor Canal. The canal, which once used to be 45-60 metres wide, is now only 15 metres wide in most places. In a few spots, the width is no more than 10 metres due to all the sewage and municipal waste dumped into the canal. The order has authorised the Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) to take legal action against the violators under the relevant Sections of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (amendment) Act, 2018 and other applicable statutes and regulations.
The department order has also advised the corporation to publicize the ban through widely-circulated newspapers. “We will be taking all measures for preventing dumping of rubbish into the canal as per the order. We will also take measures to prosecute those doing so,” said Anu R S, secretary, KMC.
K T Chesire, an RTI activist said that authorised agencies must immediately take steps and step up measures to prevent encroachments in the canal. He further added, “Now, the corporation has started procedures to widen the canal besides beautifying and protecting it. The Rs 18 crore project is being implemented under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). They are implementing the project before completing survey for identifying the canal’s borders. As they are building the walls without identifying boundaries, it leads to legalisation of encroachments.”