“Several projects including those suggested in Kuttanad package have not been implemented,” said 52-year-old Prakashan, a resident, who has spent his life in various relief camps from the age of 10, during the monsoon season. According to him, though the construction work of the bunds began two years ago, the fields under the Padasekhara Samithis were not totally immune from flooding.
Though, relief camps were opened here, many of the families come to camps to prepare food and return to the privacy of ‘cradle’ beds in the night. Revenue officials point fingers at the Irrigation department for not implementing projects to increase the depth of canals including the man-made Kottayam-Vaikom (KV) canal and Divan thodu (rivulet).
Irrigation officials in turn pass the buck to the authority responsible for implementing the Kuttanad package. “As there is no significant water flow from High Ranges the water level can be controlled by maintaining the canals and rivulets in the region,” said Vaikom tahsildar Prasad. He turned down residents’ suggestion to construct dikes and to set up motors to pump out water in line with the R-Block model, citing lack of feasibility.
Prasad is preparing a study report to resolve the crisis as per the direction of new District Collector Ajit Kumar.