An Island of Woes for Kurankotta Folks
By Shalet Jimmy | Published: 11th January 2014 09:23 AM |
Be it rain or shine, we are neck deep in water. During high tide, water logs around houses even around 6 pm which is dangerous. The water recedes only by 11 am the next day. Little children are hardly let outside the house. We literally have to wade through the water to reach the jetty. Even if we reach the jetty in case of any emergency it is hard to get to the other side with only a rickety boat for 88 families of the island, said the residents of Kurankotta island at Vaduthala.
“This has led to deaths as patients could not be taken to the hospital during emergencies. The men are away at work during the day and during emergencies it is not easy for women to take the sick to the jetty. Though we have asked for a wheel chair, we are yet to get it,” said Vijayan.
The colonies are included in the government project of self-reliant villages and `1 crore has been earmarked for the renovation project. But the natives say that they have not benefited in any way.
“Some houses are being renovated. To create self-employment opportunities for women, sewing machines will be distributed. But there are hardly any women who know how to sew here. What about the solution for the real issues like water-logging and connectivity,” asked panchayat member Chikku Sony.
If there is a will and a vision, a much lesser amount could help solve the issue of water-logging, at least temporarily.
“The stone walls around the island could be strengthened and raised. The front portion of 88 houses could be levelled by filling sand. It would cost around `25 lakh and it would offer a temporary solution to water-logging. At least our children need not have to walk through the contaminated water,” said Subramaniam.
The water is a breeding ground for diseases. The ferry service to the island is from 9 am to 9 pm. Residents are stranded after 9 pm. The only homoeo service allotted for the island is in Chittoor ferry which is 100 m off both the jetties. “A big bridge is the need of the hour and we know that many hurdles will have to be crossed for it to become a reality. They could have built a small bridge,” said Pushpalal, another native.
The island is around 300 acres. There are around 82 schedule caste families. Shrimp farming is done in 200 acres and when the water is let out after the farming it aggravates water-logging.
However, Hibi Eden MLA maintained that no short-cuts are possible as the colony has already been included in the self-reliant villages project and strict guidelines have to be followed.
“We are trying our level best to place the project under NABARD during the next financial year. Sand filling is not a practical solution. We have checked every option and a connectivity bridge is the only possible solution,” he said.