Though the Kochi Corporation authorities reiterate that the canal-cleaning works are being carried out properly in the city ahead of the monsoon, there are apprehensions over the chances for severe water-logging once the rainy season begins.
According to Works Standing Committee chairperson Soumini Jain, the civic body had so far spent `5.41 crore for the cleaning of drains, small canals and big canals including Perandoor and Edappally.
Countering the chairperson’s claims, opposition councillor M Anilkumar said the canal cleaning works were not being properly carried out in the entire divisions.
“The cleaning of Edappally canal is yet to be completed and the chances for water-logging during this monsoon are very high. The Corporation authorities have not taken steps to clean the smaller canals that open into big canals like Thevara-Pernadoor and Pashnithodu canal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Soumini Jain said the delay in starting work on the big canals was the result of re-tendering of works.
“We initially floated the tender for removing weeds from the big canals. But a majority of the Councillors demanded that the big canals should be de-silted. So we re-tendered the work. However, the works commenced on time and will be completed before the beginning of the monsoon season,” she said.
Regarding the small drains, Jain said that except 10 percent out of the total 147 canals, cleaning works allotted this year were already completed.
“The rest of the work will be completed within two weeks,” Jain added.
She said the small drains in the heart of the city will be given special focus as MG Road and KSRTC areas are the spots in the city which are affected with acute water logging.
“Prime areas including M G Road, Shanmugham Road, KSRTC, Rajaji Road and Banerji Road are usually affected by water-logging. Likewise, we believe that the water logging will not be as sever as the previous year this time at Broadway and Ernakulam market areas,”” Jain said.