Monday, May 7, 2012

News Article: Urgent steps needed to save pond

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Encroachment, dumping of garbage and general negligence by the Corporation are slowly killing an old pond in the Mannanthala area. The Thengumkulam pond in Gandhiji Nagar, Mannanthala, previously belonged to the then Ulloor Panchayat. When Ulloor Panchayat was merged with the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation in 2000, it became a property of the Corporation.

Formerly, this pond was a main source of water for irrigation to the agricultural areas. But, gradually, the paddy lands were filled up and converted as housing plots and as a result of this, there became no need for water from this pond for irrigation purpose.

Now, the pond has become very shallow and it has almost got dried up. Nowadays, there will be water in the pond only during the rainy season. It is overgrown with grass, all types of weeds and has become a breeding centre for mosquitoes and other harmful insects and creatures.

T Ramachandran Nair, executive committee member of the Gandhiji Nagar Residents’ Association, describes it as the ‘Muthassikulam’ of Nalanchira-Mannanthala area. An 81-year-old lady, Sarada K, of the locality laments that the pond has been reduced by 35 cents by this time due to encroachment and dumping of waste. This happened as a result of the continued negligence on the part of the former Ulloor Panchayat and later by the Corporation.

The maintenance and upkeep of this pond is highly essential for retaining the ground water level of the area. It is also the policy of the Government to preserve existing water bodies to meet the shortage of water.

"The Gandhiji Nagar Residents’ Association, ever since its formation in 1991, has been taking up the matter of cleaning and upkeep of the pond with the then Ulloor Panchayat and later with the Corporation,’’ its president Jameskutty Cyriac said. But all efforts were in vain and the Corporation has not taken any steps for the revival of the pond so far.

"The estimate for undertaking the work has already been prepared and given to the Irrigation Department. Further developments are awaited,’’ said Vanaja Rajendrababu, the Councillor of Mannanthala Ward.

It is high time the Corporation urgently intervened to protect this pond, lest it too becomes history.

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