Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has sought a report from the Irrigation Department executive engineer on delay in rejuvenating Kappithode, one of the highly polluted waterbodies in the district.
In a statement issued here, Mr. Sudhakaran said that he had written a letter to the executive engineer directing to begin the work immediately. “While other canals are being rejuvenated in Alappuzha, a delay in starting the work to revive Kappithode is a failure,” the Minister said.
After an inordinate delay, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government allocated ₹21 crore under the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board for rejuvenating Kappithode. The plan is to deepen and widen it to ensure smooth flow of water.
The 14.5-km canal has been reduced to drainage owing to waste dumping and encroachments over the years, posing a major health risk to people.
The pollution of Kappithode first came to light more than three decades ago when a few students of two schools, situated by the side of the canal, fell ill after breathing poisonous gases from it. Today, the waterbody is filled with all kinds of detritus and its dark water is stagnant. Noxious gases emanating from Kappithode pose a health hazard to local residents and students of Government Higher Secondary School and Sree Narayana Vilasom TTI school, both at Kakkazhom in Ambalappuzha North grama panchayat.
The pollution is owing to the solid and liquid waste being dumped into the canal, mostly from prawn-peeling sheds in the area. Meat-processing centres, hotels, auditoriums, houses, and TD Medical College also contribute to the problem.