KOCHI: Even the groundwater in more than half Kochi municipal area is contaminated with E-coli bacteria, shows a survey by SCMS Water Institute. "The contamination shows the severity of the problem. It was due to the seepage of toilet wastes dumped in 18 canals," mayor Soumini Jain said. The survey conducted for implementation of the Rs 23.58-crore Amrita Mission project provides a clear picture of the severity of pollution in the canal networks, especially the 11-km Thevara-Perandoor Canal.
It shows 632 pipes carrying toilet waste have reduced the once flourishing waterway into a cesspool of sewage wastes. Some 216 small and large drains having the width ranging from 0.5 to 6 metres also carry rainwater along with a dark and thick fluids containing many effluents. The solid wastes dumped from Thevara, Kadavanthara markets and residential colonies such as Giri Nagar and Udaya Nagar has also hit its natural flow.
“The black water with foul smell remains standstill,” she said. "It creates serious health problems for the people living on the banks of canal." She said ecological restoration of the 18-canal network is the only solution to water logging and pollution of water bodies. "The survey on TP Canal is the first step towards such a project," the mayor said. "The SCMS Institute was asked to submit a detailed project report. It prepared the report by identifying the sources of water pollution and contamination. It also contains recommendations. The implementation of the project will be a new beginning for the conservation and rejuvenation of the canal networks in Kochi, the mayor said.