KOCHI: While the summer showers brought cheer to most Kochiites, the shopkeepers and residents along the MG Road and Broadway in the city were in for an unpleasent sight on Thursday. The unexpected showers had caused septic and food waste to spill all over the MG Road and Broadway stretch. The reckless act of hoteliers and lodge owners who failed to construct septic pits in their buildings, letting the waste out into the city drains made life hell for hundreds who frequented the area.
“The waste has clogged the small drains. When we came to open our shop at Jew Street, the water had already entered the ground floor. If a light rain could bring so much misery, what will happen during the monsoon?,” asked Manoj Kumar, a hardware shop owner, who had to shift to the first floor of the building owing to the issue.
Earlier, a survey conducted by the corporation had found that around as 5,000 septic tank outlets directly open into the Thevara-Perandoor canal. A recent survey conducted by SCMS had also found the presence of e-coli bacteria in the water is high due to the dumping of septic waste. “If the authorities fail to take any action in this regard, an epidemic outbreak will ensue. We have approached the district collector to intervene in this issue,” Manoj said.
The unscientific construction of drainages and roads is also cited as a major reason for waterlogging in the area. “The Jews Street was constructed in 1967. During the re-tarring work, bitumen laying was done without removing the old layers, which began to hold water. Recently, concrete blocks were laid on top of the bitumen which made the water logging worse even during small showers. How can we run a business in this state? Why isn’t the corporation doing anything?” he asked.
Sudha Dileep Kumar, councillor, Ernakulam Central blamed the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) for the waterlogging in the area. “KMRL has constructed a narrow passage for drain out the water from the road. Though the health officials of the corporation inspected the stretch, they found no signs of septic leakage. However, we will ask the health officials to check for septic waste outlets,” said Sudha Dileep. The mayor was unavailable for comment.