i) Pilot intervention at Chathanad Colony

April 2018

CANALPY initiated a pilot intervention on Chathanad Canal to address the liquid waste management issues, including improper on-site systems, faced by the residents of municipal colony. Chathanadu canal is one of the major pollution hotspots in Alleppey. A length of about 1.51 km was chosen for pilot intervention due to its homogeneous character (residential area). The civil and household surveys in the pilot ward were carried out by civil engineering students from local engineering colleges (Cochin University College of Engineering, Kuttanad) which was subsequently developed into a survey protocol that could be replicated in other canals. The Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD Society) and NEERI were roped in to develop a technical solution to deal with wastewater pollution in the Chathanad canal. Based on the analysis, it was decided to focus on specific pollution hotspots, i.e Municipal Colony, Chathanad which lacked improved sanitation facilities. After beginning with a canal cleaning campaign to reclaim the canal commons, individual toilets and a DEWATS plant were constructed to treat the liquid waste from the households in the municipal colony. The community toilet was transformed into a students’ study space. The canals and entire colony was beautified with with the help of local artists.

4.2) Muthalapozhi- reclaiming an estuarine canal system

Muthalapozhi is an estuarine water body passing through three densely populated wards – Mangalam, Kanjiramchira, and Vadacanal wards. The aim of the project was to reclaim the existing Muthalapozhi and to prevent further pollution across the water body. A detailed plan to carry out decentralized waste management across the watershed was devised. Institution building activities were carried out across all wards of Muthalapozhi to sensitize residents towards canal pollution. The exercise was supported by Kudumbasree, the local women’s self-help collective after which a plastic collection campaign was initiated according to the HKS model pioneered by CANALPY. 

4.3) Powam Thodu Canal Rejuvenation

In Collaboration Nedumudi grama panchayat and Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishath(KSSP), CANALPY initiated a flood mitigation project in “Powam Thodu” of Kuttanad. The pilot project’s main objective was to bring back the water draining capacity of the canals through a participatory campaign which would bring about an attitudinal shift among the local people. The 2 km stretch, which wasn’t de-silted for 10 years was decongested and brought back to life. Social interventions were carried out by mobilizing residents alongside the canals with the help of panchayat, by addressing the relationship between local floods and the importance of canals. From the collected data and the feedback received through stakeholder interviews, CANALPY successfully established that the exercise could be replicated in other canals in the region. 

4.4) Decongestion plan for canals of Alappuzha and Nedumudy

For preparing a decongestion plan for Alappuzha and Nudumudy canals, the CANALPY team tracked the major and minor canals for their physical attributes that included details like length, average width, and depth, whether the canal is eutrophicated or not, and accessibility to the canal. The team found that there was 35.4km length of canals which was spread over different wards of Nedumudy panchayat. A Map prepared with these tracked details eventually led to the civil survey of the canals to prepare a plan for decongestion. Among 35.4km canal length, 15km of length has been surveyed till now. This work has been completed as an internship program by participating civil engineering students from colleges in the Alappuzha district.

At the request of Alappuzha Municipality, a georeferenced plan of the subcanal network of Alappuzha town was prepared by the CANALPY team. This was accompanied by a decongestion plan for the whole network which could be incorporated into the Municipality plan. A similar protocol as followed in Nedumudy was also followed for this exercise, with the help of the OSM tracker. The exercise was carried out by M.Tech students from CTARA, IIT Bombay along with civil engineering students from local colleges.

4.5) Pilot project at Thumbooram Padashekharam- An alternate bund construction strategy

The Thumburam padashekharam is 135 acres of paddy fields surrounded by canals on all sides. The CANALPY team proposed a project to mitigate the effect of flooding by decongesting the canals and constructing outer bunds using local manpower. This was also to ensure livelihood generation within the community. This is along the model of the pilot at Powam thodu which was done earlier. 

Additionally, the team along with the help of CUCEK college also proposed constructing of a 3.5 m wide road on top of the bund using geotextiles. This method avoids the excessive quarrying which comes from regular stone bund and road construction while at the same time generating demand for coir products.

Inauguration of the project at Thumbooram Padashekaram
in the presence of the State Finance Minister, representatives, and local workers

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