Thiruvananthapuram: Ayira and Puliyoor ponds in Karode panchayat here will soon get a new life as authorities have initiated works for cleaning and renovating the ponds with Nabard’s aid.
The seven-acre Ayira pond along the Chenkavila-Ayira road was a major source for farming activities in the area. The pond was in an abandoned condition for the past 15 years filled with algae and plants. “Earlier, the residents had used the pond for bathing, washing cattle and clothes. Water from this pond was earlier sourced for paddy cultivation by hundreds of farmers. Now, the present plight of the pond has led to the end of paddy cultivation in Karode panchayat" said Chenkavila ward member Kanthalloor Saji.
As Ayira pond covered a large area, the panchayat had found it difficult to perform the cleaning and renovation activities. “With our limited resources and funds, we could not carry out the cleaning of the pond. Water overflowed from the nearby canal during the rainy season carried mud and other wastes that were deposited in the pond," said Karode panchayat president Rajendran Nair.
Now, with the aid from Nabard, renovation and cleaning initiatives worth Rs 1.55 crore have commenced. Rs 1.36 crore have been allocated for Ayira pond renovation while the one-acre Puliyoor pond gets a revamp worth Rs 18 lakh. The work envisaged under the project includes the removal of accumulated mud from the ponds and the construction of safety walls. According to officials, the entire project will be completed within six months.
With the renovation, the officials also plan to make the area a tourist spot. “Ayira pond was once a major attraction and its real beauty was captured in a song in the 1980 Malayalam movie ‘Karimpana’. As it is situated along the main road, we are planning to turn a portion of the pond into a swimming pool. Also, a walkway will be set up," said Saji.