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Restoration of TS Canal proposed

By Our Staff Reporter

KOLLAM Nov.19. The Kollam Mayor, Sabita Beegum, said here today that an ambitious Rs. 12-crore project for the restoration and beautification of the Kollam city portion of the Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur (TS) Canal had been submitted to the Union Minister of Urban Development, Ananthkumar, in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Urban Development, O. Rajagopal, and the Local Administration Minister, Cherkalam Abdulla, on November 15.

At a press conference she said the response of both the Union Ministers to the project was positive. The TS Canal once served as the prime channel for trade and transport. The canal connects the Paravur Lake to the Ashtamudi Lake as part of a direct waterway from Thiruvananthapuram to Shoranur.

The canal is in a pathetic state now. With stagnant water, the canal poses a serious health hazard to the city residents. In addition to that around 800 families have settled on either banks to form a major slum. Yet the canal still has the potential for inland navigation and tourism. If the canal, which runs 7 km through the city, is developed, it can also result in substantial industrial progress, the project report claims.

The report submitted to the Ministers primarily aims at the rehabilitation of the slum-dwellers "who are responsible for polluting the canal.'' It would help restore the past glory of the canal. Once that is done, desilting operations could be carried out and a fenced parapet could be constructed for protecting the canal.

The Corporation then intends erecting children's parks, restaurants and landscaping on either banks as a tourist attraction. If sanction and support is given, the whole project may be completed within three years.

The Mayor said that the slum-dwellers were prepared to shift if they were accommodated at a reasonable distance. For the purpose, a suitable land would be acquired where houses would be constructed and basic infrastructure provided, she said.

She said that the break up of the project cost would be Rs. 11 crores for the rehabilitation and Rs. 1 crore for the beautifcation of the canal banks. The entire cost for desilting and deepening of the canal would be met by the Inland Navigation Department, she added.

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