Save Uyyakondan - 1000 years pride of Trichy!

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Petition for Restoration of

1000 year pride of Trichy - Uyyakondan Channel

1000-year-old Uyyakondan Channel is a Chola creation which carries water from the River Cauvery, originally, from Pettaivaithalai to VazhavandhanKottai, for a distance of 69km.

 

Uyyakondan Channel runs through the city of Trichy for a distance of about 9km. Over the last few years, this channel has been the conduit for the sewage of most of the city. The official figure is about 220 MLD (Million Litres per Day) from more than 20 inlets! This sewage is made worse now, by the chemicals (of soap and sanitisers - driven by the COVID-19 - hand hygiene).

With summer approaching, this chemical-filled-sewage water would be the only source of water for irrigation for over 32,000 acres of agricultural land. The produce cultivated using this polluted source will come back into our citizens’ food chain.

BUT the underlying problems with Water and Sanitation remains unaddressed!

Any water body can be restored and maintained only with the joint efforts of the Citizens and the Government, as seen with the River Thames in England and River Pasig in Philippines. Therefore, in the face of an impending National Water crisis and shrinking public space, “Citizens for Uyyakondan(CFU)”, which came together (in December 2017) as a common platform for any individual/organisations to restore Uyyakondan.

“My City - My Duty: Mission Uyyakondan” - is driven by a three – pronged approach of Awareness / Bank Restoration / and Cleansing Water, supported by the City Corporation and the River Conservation departments. The group has worked over 116 consecutive weekends (as on 29-3-2020).

 

The details of activity under each (Awareness / Bank Restoration / and Cleansing Water) arm are elaborated in the attachment herewith, titled, “Overview - Mission Uyyakondan”(https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QKK2kImYEcfjC37Ex_XLgmPfcs2MEHmm/view?ts=5e80e04e . All of this activity has been documented and updated periodically on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Citizensforuyyakondan/ and also on other City-based social media sites.

 

Why the Petition?

While the officials concerned have been cordial, understanding and cooperative, the restoration work planned over a year ago, is yet to start due to the lack of written permissions from the officials concerned. This has left the technical expertise and funds offered, unutilized for several months. It is ironical that while one arm of the Government keeps putting out startling statistics of impending National Water crisis and need for Citizens’s participation, another arm of the Government is unresponsive and delays decision making, especially when the Citizens are forthcoming.

The immediate step forward is to obtain an NOC from the concerned officials and 

  1.   Engage in an 'amphibian machine’ - driven cleanup of solid waste along Uyyakondan.
  2.  Set up a model STP which would treat the sewage (5 KLD) inflow at a designated point. In a developing nation, decentralized wastewater treatment has been promoted extensively because of the possibility to apply technologies with low operation and maintenance requirements. (Sasse, L. (1998). DEWATS Decentralised Wastewater Treatment in Developing Countries. Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), Germany). 
  3.  Desilt ponds fed by the Uyyakondan canal to enhance water storage in the ponds that would also result in healthy ground water recharge.
  4. Create pedestrian bridges across the Uyyakondan connecting  both the banks of the canal, which would not only create an effective public space along the 9 kms on but also significantly deter pollution of the channel.

The CFU has taken the ‘first step’ of ’being the change we want to see’in this journey of a thousand miles !

Your support on change.org would help expedite the process in achieving the goal that will not only benefit the city but will also be an expression of gratitude to the 1000-year-old wisdom of the Cholas!