KAKINADA: A plan has been drawn up by the state government to clean the Godavari canals connecting the urban areas of East Godavari region at a cost of Rs 3 crore.
A plan of action was drawn up to implement the programme for 28 days from Gandhi Jayanthi on October 2 till 30. The locals had repeatedly been requesting the government to clean up the canals. People regard Godavari as a sacred river and taking a bath in its waters as a blessing. They are giving the same importance to Godavari canals.
But, for the past two decades, the Godavari waters remained badly polluted. Many Panchayats and Towns let out the sewage into the canals and the canal bunds have become dumping grounds. In some places, the canals are filled with plastic waste and this blocked the free flow of water. The river water is polluted and hence the people are not able to use it even to clean their feet.
Once upon a time, the Indrapalem canal near Kakinada was the most important among canals. It used to be so clean that devotees visiting the famous Lord Subrahmanyeswara Temple used to take a bath there. It is called ``Kalingalu’’.
The people also used to perform final rituals in the canal after cremations. Now the canal has become so ugly and polluted that many avoid even stepping into it. Other canals also are facing the same situation.
“The canals have become dumping yards and they have lost their sanctity in the past two decades. Those following the Hindu traditions are facing difficulty to perform rituals of their deceased relatives. These canals should be cleaned and made to retain their past glory,’’ said Srinivasa Sarma, a purohit.
Irrigation deputy engineer Ravi Kumar said the department is frequently serving notices on the 19 Grama Panchayats that are letting out their sewage into the canals. The canal bunds have become dumping grounds and coconut traders are throwing the waste into the canals, he said.
He said that as per instructions of the central and state governments, the urban canals like Rajamahendravaram, Samalkot, Kakinada, Ramachandrapuram, Mandapeta and Amalapuram would be cleaned from October 2 to 30.
A plan of action has been chalked out to implement the programme. The village/ward secretariat, revenue, panchayat, irrigation and other departments will be involved in the programme and awareness would be created among the inhabitants on the need to keep the canals clean....