Efforts on to revive freshwater lake

The ₹150-crore project at Paroppady aims at promoting tourism, sports, and boating

Two floods in successive years and then the pandemic have severely impacted the ₹150-crore freshwater lake project at Paroppady in Kozhikode.

However, administrators are sanguine about the prospects of the project, as things are crawling back to normal. “Yes, floods hit first, then COVID. But, the project is back on track,” said Kozhikode North Legislator A. Pradeep Kumar, who has taken up the initiative with the State government.

According to him, the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), which had carried out a hydrology survey, had furnished a favourable report. The project aims at promoting tourism, sports and boating facilities in the unused waterlogged paddy field on the western side of the Paroppady-Kannadikkal road.

The Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited, Mr. Pradeep Kumar said, would play the role of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to collaborate in the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative. The project site is located in 60 acres in Chevayoor and Vengeri villages. “We have already held meetings in groups with 200 landowners. Now, a business model has been conceived under the green architecture technology for the purpose,” he added.

Earlier, the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) had earmarked ₹20 crore for the project.

The proposal is to develop the land connected to the Kannadikkal river through a man-made canal. Usually, the area gets flooded during monsoon owing to overflow from the river. Simultaneously, water flows back to the river in summer. Even then, some water remains in the land even in the driest season.

K.V. Abdul Malik, project manager, Impact Kerala Limited, an SPV for KIIFB, who prepared the lake project, said flooding could have actually been prevented in the region had the project been fulfilled earlier.

Long ago, the land had been under paddy cultivation, but it was not put to any economic use owing to waterlogging. However, some peripheral plots have been reclaimed for residential purposes.

The project had been initially conceived in five acres of the periphery of the lake for recreational activities, while 20 acres were to be maintained as lake. “The purpose is to create a space for recreation as well as conservation of the vast waterbody as a reservoir,” Mr. Pradeep Kumar said.

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