Miseries of Chellanam: 350 houses bear brunt of sea erosion

Administration’s efforts fail as residents show stiff resistance to move from houses to rehabilitation centres

Published: 13th June 2019 07:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2019 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

A resident watching the rough sea at Chellanam in Kochi | ARUN ANGELA

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The worst sea attack ever after the Ockhi cyclone caused partial damage to nearly 350 homes along coastal areas in Chellanam. With the seawater intrusion occurring in areas such as Bazar, Companypadi and Maruvakkad, several families were forced to take shelter in their relatives’ houses.
According to the residents, the toilets, kitchens, furniture, electronic items, clothes and books were completely damaged when seawater seeped into their houses during high tide.

“It took nearly one year for us to repair and rebuild the houses after the Ockhi attack. But Monday’s sea erosion again made us orphans as 350 houses in Chellanam area were partially damaged. If the authorities had taken proper steps, we would not have faced such a situation. We also want to live here,” said Jimson, a Chellanam resident.

Even the wall constructed with sandbags to resist the waves failed to prevent the seawater from seeping into their house. “After the onslaught of Ockhi last year, many of them had raised the gates and the walls to resist the entry of seawater. But it was not enough to resist it. Since the saline water entered the houses, the walls will get damaged easily. The officials’ apathy is the main cause of such damage,” said Melton A, a Chellanam resident.

Meanwhile, the district administration’s move to shift the residents to a rehabilitation centre failed to materialise as most of them expressed stiff resistance to move out from their houses. “We don’t want to end our life in relief camps. Every year, we have to spend our lives in the camps. Bedsheets, rice and vegetables are not the things we want. We want to live in a safe house. For this, a seawall is necessary,” said Joy Arackal, a Chellanam resident who has taken shelter in his neighbour’s house along with his family. Meanwhile, the panic situation intensified as the sea remained rough on Wednesday. “Normally, the sea would be calm within two days. But it remained rough. If the swell waves pound the homes we will be forced to leave the premises,” said a fisherman.

Steps taken to install geotubes

District Collector Mohammed Y Safirulla who visited Chellanam on Wednesday said steps have been taken to install geotubes at four major areas. “Some unfortunate incidents happened but we have resolved the issue. The geotubes will be installed within a week. The grievances faced by Chellanam residents will also be informed to the govt,” the Collector said

Stay up to date on all the latest Kochi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp