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Work in Progress to Restore Vellayani Lake, the Second Largest Freshwater Lake in Kerala

The lake is a prime source of drinking water in the district and has a unique ecosystem featuring some of the rarest birds, fish and flora, said Abey George

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Vellayani Lake, Kerala, Freshwater
Situated about nine km from Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, the approximate spread of the lake is around 1,853 acre, but due to encroachment, it has shrunk to a mere 428 acre. Pixabay

Work is in progress to restore Vellayani lake, the second largest freshwater lake in Kerala that supplies 20 million litres of water everyday to the public water supply system, to its glory.

Situated about nine km from Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, the approximate spread of the lake is around 1,853 acre, but due to encroachment, it has shrunk to a mere 428 acre.

The lake is a prime source of drinking water in the district and has a unique ecosystem featuring some of the rarest birds, fish and flora, said Abey George, Secretary of Swasthi Foundation which has spearheaded plans for rejuvenating the lake.

In May, the process of de-weeding was started using mechanical weed harvesters. So far, one third area of the lake has been cleared of weeds and dredging will begin shortly, he said.

Vellayani Lake, Kerala, Freshwater
Work is in progress to restore Vellayani lake, the second largest freshwater lake in Kerala that supplies 20 million litres of water everyday to the public water supply system, to its glory. Pixabay

“The de-silting operations with the help of the Irrigation Department will add a mean depth of 1.5 meters to the lake and increase its storage by nearly three times. After dredging, bio- and phyto-remediation will be implemented to improve the water quality, which has been adversely affected in recent times,” George added.

He said the work is expected to finish in another 150 days and once that is done, the State Tourism Department will step in and promote the site as a tourism spot with activities like a walkway around the lake, aqua sporting activities, and fishing.

A survey was also conducted covering all aspects of the lake – its existence, factors contributing to its deterioration, effects on local life, water quality, water table, biodiversity and fauna.

The efforts are supported by private organisations and the government also provides technical and administrative help.

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State Irrigation Minister, K. Krishnan Kutty, early this week visited the lake and applauded the work being done there.

“The state government will play its role and has begun issuing tenders to buy a state-of-the-art equipment from the Netherlands, which is to be used to clean lakes,” said Kutty.

A former official of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board, K.P. Laladhas, said people’s participatory approach is essential for the successful conservation of any natural ecosystem and the Vellayani ecosystem is an abode for indigenous and migratory birds. (IANS)

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Onam Celebrations in Kerala to Be a Low Key Affair as State Recovering from Devastating Floods

Over 6,000 people are still staying in 86 relief camps set up in the state

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Onam, Kerala, Floods
Heavy rains have battered several districts of the state since the past fortnight leaving 125 people dead and destroying property worth crores. Pixabay

Onam celebrations in Kerala will be a low key affair as the state is recovering from devastating floods, the state Cabinet decided at its weekly meeting here on Wednesday.

Heavy rains have battered several districts of the state since the past fortnight leaving 125 people dead and destroying property worth crores. Over 6,000 people are still staying in 86 relief camps set up in the state.

Last year, the state government was forced to cancel Onam celebrations after the state witnessed similar floods and devastation.

Onam, Kerala, Floods
Onam celebrations in Kerala will be a low key affair as the state is recovering from devastating floods, the state Cabinet decided at its weekly meeting here on Wednesday. Pixabay

Onam is the harvest festival of the state. It is primarily celebrated for three days, but the festivities continue for more than a week with educational institutions closed and the state holding cultural programmes in all the 14 district headquarters. This year however, the gala may be subdued.

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The state government has announced distribution of Rs 10,000 relief payment to all the flood-affected families before September 7. The concerned secretaries and the village officials have been asked to distribute the compensation amount to the victims. (IANS)