Home Water flow Cleaning the canals before the northeast monsoon: activists and residents of Coimbatore

Cleaning the canals before the northeast monsoon: activists and residents of Coimbatore

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In Sai Nagar, Podanur, an earthmoving machine makes round trips on the dike of the Vellalore canal. The machine operator removes aquatic weeds from the canal and bushes inside the dike.

The public works department had deployed the digger a few days ago to plug a breach in the canal in the same area. Following the southwest monsoon rains over the past two weeks, the water flow in the Noyyal River has increased and as a result, the flow in the channel has also increased.

But because of the blockages, water could not flow to the reservoir and pierced the dike at Sai Nagar, said R. Manikandan, coordinator, Kovai Kulangal Pathugappu Amaipu, a water conservation NGO.

There was also a breach in the canal last year, not far from where the breach occurred a few days ago, Mr. Manikandan recalled and stressed that the reason for the two breaches was the even – the canal was clogged with garbage affecting the water flow.

In the 6.50 km long canal that branches off the Noyyal River at Anaimedu, near Athupalam, to bring water to the Vellalore cistern, solid waste is dumped both in the canal and on the dike, some by scrap dealers and in the first four kilometers of the canal.

There are encroachments on the canal embankment including utility poles and then sewage flowing into the canal to promote the growth of water grasses and bushes.

The presence of power poles and connecting cables to low-rise houses made it difficult to use heavy machinery for dredging the canal and removing bushes, Manikandan said.

The condition of the Sanganoor Canal near Dhanalakshmipuram is no different. Residents said they had drawn the attention of the Coimbatore Corporation to the solid waste that is choking the flow of water in the canal.

Saravana Kumar, a resident of the area, said residents had raised the issue with the company on various platforms and sent reminders as well, but the civic body had done little to eliminate the waste.

With the northeast monsoon just days away and Coimbatore expected to receive good rains, activists and residents say they want both the Department of Public Works and the Coimbatore Corporation to clean up the natural drains – remove the bushes and blockages and dredging where possible to ensure that rainwater reaches the reservoirs of the Noyyal River system.

Officials said they were aware of the issues and were working to clean up the canals.


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