All canals to be surveyed

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Kochi: The alleged encroachment of the Edappally Canal by LuLu Mall, which has been making headlines of late, seems to have woken up the city corporation to the need to  prevent encroachments of canals in the city.
While it currently claims to be clueless about the extent of encroachment by big builders and commercial establishments,  it plans to do a Total Station survey to mark the boundaries of all canals in the city to help it arrive at some sort of an estimation soon.
“Steps will be taken  to conduct a comprehensive survey for identifying the boundaries of canals in the city. Although it was decided to do so last year, nothing came of it. But in view of the increasing encroachments, we must act now to conserve the canals,” said K.J. Sohan, town planning committee chairman.
Although canals were the lifeline of the city, providing the safest and shortest routes for movement of goods in the past ,  no master plan prepared by the corporation or other  agencies like the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) had  recognised their value and marked their boundaries, he regretted.
The result was  massive encroachment of most canals, which had narrowed down over the years and become polluted with sewage, he noted. 
“The corporation will identify space for constructing service roads along the sides of canals and ensure they are cleaned. Although land on the side of the canals is private property or purampoke, the agency has the right to demolish  unauthorised structures alongside them,” Sohan explained.

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