The work of desilting the local pond in Vellakinar, Coimbatore is at the verge of completion, said members of a local volunteer organisation – Vellakinar Water and Greenery Protection Committee, who have been involved in the desilting work for nearly six months.
One of the members, VK Vasanth Kumar said that the work will be completed by the middle of this month. The volunteer organisation began the restoration work in August 2019. Restoration of the water body will also help in recharging the groundwater table of the area, added Kumar.
The work began by removing bushes from the pond bed. As the pond dried up around 15 years back it led to the growth of thorny bushes and seemai karuvelam (Prosopis juliflora) in the area. The work has been undertaken in two phases: cleaning and desilting, added Kumar.
The cleaning work ended, the desilting works began on January 26, 2020. Around 20 members from the committee along with the residents of Vellakinar took up the work for the past six months, which involved strengthening of bunds and increasing the pond’s depth, said Kumar. It expected that the pond will attain full capacity in the upcoming rainy season.
Once the restoration work is completed, the volunteers plan to set up paths for walking and cycling and a playground around the pond. The expected cost for the project is Rs 40 lakh for which the organisation looks forward for corporate support from their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. The cleaning process alone costs around Rs 1 lakh and desilting process costs about Rs 15 lakh.