KOCHI: With water receding from flooded areas, people have slowly started trudging back towards their homes. However, what awaits them back home are danger and misery in equal parts. A woman in Eloor was bitten by a snake which had entered her house and stayed back even when the water left the premises. The authorities had indeed been warning of the presence of snakes in the area.
A more subtle threat comes from African snails which feed on buildings, thus weakening them. The snails, which remains dormant in the summer, grow at an alarming rate during the monsoon. Contact with them are also said to cause meningitis in kids.
“There are hundreds of eggs and the snails are sticking to the walls,” said Viswambharan, a resident of Panchayat Colony in Eloor. “Already, the buildings are in a bad condition. Now, they are being leached. The snails are usually seen in large numbers near the container yard area.”
Five wards in Eloor face the issue, with the menace spreading to Kalamassery too. Five years ago, Puthalath ward in the 16th division of Eloor Municipality had faced a similar predicament.
“It was a novelty at first,” said Naseera Razak, the councillor from Puthalath.
“Then, during monsoon, they started entering the houses and their numbers started increasing rapidly. This became a serious issue and we have received instructions from KMFRI in Peechi and salt in large quantities was used to halt their march. We have also used tobacco syrup to drive the snails away. We will take every step to ensure that the snails don’t do much damage.”