GIS to help clean up Kochi's drains, canals

ThevaraPerandoor canal to be mapped first

KOCHI: The city corporation has proposed to conduct a comprehensive GIS mapping and contouring of drains and canals in the city as an initial step for implementing the climate change adaptation programme. During a Shared Learning Dialogue (SLD) workshop jointly held here by the corporation and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) South Asia on Friday, it has been proposed to conduct the mapping of Thevara – Perandoor canal first.

The Rockefeller Foundation, which is funding the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) programme, for which Kochi has been selected, will provide nearly '35 lakh for carrying out the mapping. The civic body has to submit the application before December and the amount has to be spent in nine months.

During the workshop, convened to discuss the draft of ‘city resilience strategy,’ Mr Ramiz Khan, manager ICLEI South Asia, pointed out the absence of a database on the drainage system which is the major reason for poor planning and development of drains. Though a pilot intervention programme for climate change adaptation has been proposed based on a two-year study conducted by ICLEI, IIT Delhi and PIK University, Germany, civic experts recommended mapping of drains as top priority.

Kochi is one of the cities selected for the project ‘Asian Cities Adapt – Impact of Climate Change in Target Cities in India’ in 2014’ as part of which the studies were carried out. “Without having a GIS map of the drainage system, no restoration or development work can be effectively undertaken. So the initial funds to the tune of '35 lakh can be used for it,” said Mayor Soumini Jain.

Several parts of the city are vulnerable to flooding due to specific geographical features while the clogged drains and canals add to the issue. The study has identified uncontrolled development, narrowing down of canals and damaged and clogged drains as some of the major reasons for water-logging.

City areas have been categorised as extreme, medium and low as per their vulnerability to climate change impacts. Based on the suggestions of the workshop, the resilient strategy and implementation of climate change adaptation programmes will be finalised. Experts from various sectors, corporation standing committee chairpersons and officials attended the workshop.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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