October 10, 2019
Kovai Kuzhangal Padukappu Ammaipu has restored the arid Kunnathur lake in a record four days, and is now looking for more support to complete the mission.
A group engaged in the rejuvenation of water bodies has desilted about 50 per cent of the Kunnathur lake in a Coimbatore village with the aim of converting the banks into farmable land.
The Kovai Kuzhangal Padukappu Ammaipu (KKPA), a Coimbatore-based NGO of nearly 10,000 members, has been de-silting the lake in Kattampatti village in northern part of Coimbatore that has been arid for the past 30 years.
T Suresh, a member of KKPA told The Covai Post, “There are three water sources to this canal, each about 6-6.5 kilometres long. We have cleared about 50 per cent of one of the water sources mostly through private donations.”
He said the group put earth moving equipment on the job, enabling them to complete the task in four days, which otherwise would have taken longer.
“This work of clearing canals throughout Coimbatore has been going on for 17 weeks,” Suresh said.
He said, “The debris and silt after clearing has been piled up on both sides of the canal to be converted into farmable land and also strengthen the river banks.
This step is within the scope of work prescribed by the Coimbatore Corporation, he said.
KKPA’s next step would be to canvass for more sponsors for complete de-silting of the remaining portions and the other two canals.
“The northern part of Coimbatore is quite arid not like the southern part of the city”, whose water bodies are nourished by the Noyyal river and streams fed by periodic rains from the Western Ghats.
“Here, the groundwater tables are nearly 1,000 feet below the ground,” Suresh said.
Suresh said complete de-silting can be completed in 15 days if the group gets the funds and manpower required.
How is the de-silting work benefiting the area?
“Good rains are expected from the south west monsoons this year, but there are no canals for excess waters to flow. So, the KKPA has been asked to link the interim water sources and unite them into one stream.
“Also farms, villages and residences have encroached and blocked the canal’s route. We are planning to have them removed and lay cement pipes along the route, which might require further funds.
“We hope sponsors come forward to support our eco-friendly initiative that will restore the water sources of northern Coimbatore,” he said.