Rehabilitation plan for traders in the offing

Over 74 shops on top of Mullassery Canal to be shifted

A rehabilitation plan for traders, who have set up their shops on top of the Mullassery Canal, is in the offing. The makeshift shops had come up on the slabs laid across the canal.

Officials of the Irrigation Department, which drew up the canal restoration plan, had insisted on the removal of traders from the banks of the canal. The department had also listed out the encroachments along the canal, which resulted in the reduction of its carrying capacity.

There are over 74 shops on top of the Mullassery Canal, and the canal restoration and deepening works can be carried out only after removing the shops from there, said a senior engineer of the Kochi Corporation.

The Kochi Corporation is exploring the possibility of shifting the traders to the campus of the Kerala Water Authority, which is located near the canal, said Mayor M. Anilkumar.

“The civic body cannot throw out the traders to the streets. Even if the traders are served with eviction notices, the civic body will ensure that they are rehabilitated properly,” he said.

The issue of rehabilitation was discussed with the Managing Director of the Kerala Water Authority. The official had responded positively to the request of the city administration. The civic body had also written to the Authority seeking its holding for the rehabilitation of traders. The director board of the Authority may take a positive decision shortly, he said.

Govt. nod

Meanwhile, the State Government has issued the technical sanction to the Irrigation Department for canal restoration works. The department has proposed to complete the works in three months. While the department would implement the project, the responsibility of removing the encroachments along the canal is with the district administration and the Kochi Corporation, an official said.

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