The residents of Kappalandimukku are in the grip of a new fear. It’s not any large ferocious animal but something as small as a snail. The scores of snails that are fast spreading their tentacles across the area have been creating a menace for the people over the past three months. The residents are in a tight spot even as the authorities lend them a deaf ear. The residents say that the excessive number of snails breeding in a vacant plot in the area has made life hell for them.
Shaheer, a resident of Kappalandimukku, said that the snails creep everywhere in the area and into the houses and other public places like bakeries and even into autorikshaw stands. “They are present on the gates of houses, on the window panes, on the dining table and sometimes they creep into our beds too,” said Shaheer.
Gafoor, who runs a teashop in the area, says his business has come to a halt because of snail attack. “From the walls of my shop to the display glass shields to the kitchen, snails are creeping into every nook and cranny of my shop. It’s the same story everywhere in the area,” said Gafoor.
Residents says that a vacant plot near the area has turned into a breeding ground for snails. When the owner of the plot, who resides in Kannur now, ignored the complaints of residents to clean up the area they turned to the authorities to for a solution. They made numerous complaints to the local body and the police authorities, but all turned futile.
When ‘City Express’ asked the Division councillor M H M Ashraf about the steps taken to prevent the snail attack, he pleaded helplessness and blamed it on the inaction of higher authorities in the Corporation.
“The health committee of the Corporation is supposed to give us a scientific advice on how to tackle the menace. When asked about it, the only remedy is folk wisdom - to spray salt on the snails. Irked by the apathy of the authorities, the residents have even threatened to collect the snails and dump them in front of the Corporation offices if they do not take an immediate action,” said Ashraf.
As a last resort, almost 75 residents in the area have together submitted a mass petition to the police. They have described the hardships faced by them, including the fact that many were suffering from skin-related diseases, in it. The police have assured the residents that the problem would be resolved within a week.