The Karimadom Colony Pond is located close to Attakkulangara-Killippalam Bypass Road in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. With an area of 1.6 acres, it is a small waterbody. It is the only pond in central Trivandrum which is not attached to a temple.
This pond was earlier used for domestic purposes until the rapid urbanisation in the aftermath of Liberalisation. It was then repurposed to store and channel untreated sewage from the city to the sewage treatment plant at Muttathara near the airport.
The fact that the area is full of poorly-constructed informal dwellings has led the government to build houses for the local community to live in. The high-density of houses around this pond and the busy Chalai market to its north make the pond a perfect target for garbage dumping. So, a lot of waste can be found around the pond and even till this day, it is difficult to estimate the exact depth of the pond because the pond-bed is covered with waste.
In the Karimadom Colony plan, the government is planning to build houses, for the 72 homeless families hailing from the colony in the first phase of works under the Shelter for Shelterless scheme of National Urban Livelihood Mission. By being provided these units, the families are being given security that they did not have before the project. While the land is still under the Trivandrum Municipal Corporation, the families will be given their flats. They are more likely to invest in the upkeep of the units since they feel a sense of ownership towards the property which is protected from flooding.
Beside this, the pond is fully covered by a thick green layer of invasive species. Animals (apart from the domesticated cattle and goats) are a rare sight due to the unattractive features of the pond and the limitation of undisturbed space to breed.Birds find no food because the eutrophication of the pond by the green cover of plants, making it impossible for any life forms to live in the pond.
This pond is one of the most difficult restoration projects we have undertaken thus far and we are organising clean ups to help this pond come back to a stable condition again. An overnight restoration is not possible; it will take some time before we can achieve the targets we set out for this pond. We hope to start the mechanised desilting and the deepening of this pond with an excavator as soon as we can. Until then we can make small steps and we are proud of the high percentage of people from the surrounding houses who are willing to help us in conserving this pond. It shows us that many people share the same vision as us.
Volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind