Kochi Mulls Rejuvenation of Heavily Encroached & Polluted Chilavannur Lake

The Kochi Municipal Corporation has prepared a draft proposal to rejuvenate the lake that is situated in the heart of the city with a cost of ₹3.5-crore under AMRUT scheme.

‘God’s Own Country’ is finally turning to the rejuvenation of its water bodies when the rampant urbanization and industrialization have been engulfing its precious freshwater lakes. The Kochi Municipal Corporation is mulling rejuvenation of the metropolitan city’s Chilavannur Lake providing it a much needed facelift.

The corporation has drafted a proposal that will be put up under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme that envisages the cleaning of the lake. The corporation also wants to build a wall around the lake so that it could be protected. The draft proposal moots a ₹3.5-crore canal rejuvenation project at Chilavannur.

Under the said proposal for Chilavannur lake, the Kochi Corporation will work on the condition of the canal. This canal runs between Sahodaran Ayyappan Road and Subhash Bose Road in the middle of the metro city. The plan includes cleaning, de-silting and construction of the side walls at the canal.

As per reports, the draft proposal to rejuvenate the Chilavannur Lake will first have to be cleared by the State-level empowered committee for funding purposes. Thereafter, a detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared for the lake rejuvenation programme.

The Chilavannur Lake

The Chilavannur Lake is one of the key water bodies in the heart of the metro city of Kochi. It is a part of the Vembanad backwaters and runs more than 1.5km in length. According to the irrigation department of Kerala Government, the Chilavannoor lake is heavily silted due to lack of proper maintenance and four natural thodus discharging into the lake were found by the department.

A large number of encroachments have been reported in the lake for a long time. Most of the encroachments were found in the intertidal zone of the canal. This would include mudflats on the banks of backwaters and mangroves. Recently, the authorities have prosecuted actor Jayasurya and three others in a case regarding encroachment on Chilavannoor lake.

The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) was launched on June 25, 2015 in 500 cities and towns across India and the program focuses on development of basic infrastructure in the sectors of water supply, sewerage and septage management, storm water drainage, green spaces and parks, and non-motorized urban transport.

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