Kulathummal Canal in Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala is on the road to restoration. The Government of Kerala is coming up with a project to improve and restore the soil quality and increase the groundwater table. The canal, over the years, has been facing a series of issues including excessive use of chemicals in farmlands. The initiative will increase the agricultural production and minimize the risks of floods and droughts.
According to the study conducted by the Department of Soil Survey, the other issues that has affected the canal were loss in vegetative cover, change in land use pattern, sedimentation of ponds, farmlands, wetlands and other water bodies, inflow of household waste water to streams, unprotected and abandoned springs, and encroachment of streams and other water bodies.
The canal, which is a third order drain originating from Myladikulam near Killi, is the major drains through Kattakkada and Maranalloor grama panchayats and drains into Neyyar River.“The restoration of Kulathumal Canal will become part of the Jalasamrudhi Project, a water resources management plan for Kattakada Assembly Constituency,” said A Nizamudeen, commissioner, Kerala Land Use Board.
Several problems, including inflow of waste water into the canal has been identified. They will be restored with the help of the Soil Conservation Department, Irrigation Department and through MGNREGS. They will help ensure smooth and uninterrupted flow of water in the drains, to infiltrate water to the soil, to improve groundwater status and to prevent scouring of banks.
The cleaning of the polluted stretch will be carried out in a campaign mode by including merchants, residents associations, locals, people’s representatives and others. It is estimated that the 85,400 man days will be created through the implementation of the project.