ARANMULA: A month after the deluge, the main road along the Pampa at Aranmula continues to wear a deserted look. Many people are yet to return to their houses. A few have literally abandoned their houses as they were left unsafe to live in after floodwater damaged the foundation. Express found people stacking up damaged household items, wet clothes and furniture on the premises of their homes.
Aranmula was among the worst-affected areas in Pathanamthitta where water from Pampa rose to a height of 16 ft above the level of the road, destroying houses and establishments 3 to 5 km on either side of the river. The residents are now trying to organise everything from scratch. "We haven't started living in our house again," said Girija S Kurup of Kadakkal House.
"Though we returned home on August 24, it took a week to remove mud from the house. We have been coming to the house daily and cleaning it. So far, we have spent Rs 40,000 to clean the house. We can't use the utensils and dress materials which got damaged in the floods."
Sreekanth Babu, an Irrigation Department overseer stationed at the irrigation pump house in Aranmula, said there are a minimum of 50 houses which people have not returned to."The flow of water was so severe the walls of many houses developed cracks," he said."The houses may look safe outwards but only a proper structural study will confirm whether they are safe for living."
Edasserimala NSS Karayogam secretary Chandran Nair said the people were struggling to find workers to repair electrical wiring and other basic facilities at homes. "Many social welfare organisations have come forward to clean the wells but they just pump out water. That alone won't make the water in wells usable. We have to shell out Rs 30,000 to clean a well," Nair said.