KOCHI: The residents of Mudakuzha in Perumbavoor spent a sleepless night after a sinkhole developed in the Kuttiyeli canal and later extended to the adjacent Parapanamkuzhi Bund Road on Tuesday night. The canal is a part of the Periyar Valley Irrigation Project (PVIP). A sinkhole is appearing in this particular stretch for the second time.“The sinkhole that has developed on the road is around four-metre-deep,” said Sivan, a resident. According to him, the residents nearby noted that something was wrong after water started pouring into the paddy fields. “This was around 8pm on Tuesday.
By midnight, water had leaked into the property of those living nearby. Since it was dark, it was difficult to gauge the damage. However, in the morning, we were greeted by the washed-away road and sinkhole in the canal,” he said.According to Mini Shaji, ward member, Mudakuzha panchayat, the engineers and officials from the PVIP visited the area on Wednesday and took stock of the situation. “The entire canal system is some 54-years-old,” she said.
Mini said, “This is the second time such an incident is happening in the stretch which is a landfill. A year ago, a sinkhole had developed just around 4m from the one that has appeared today.”Meanwhile, a PVIP assistant engineer said, “To prevent further damage, the canal has been blocked from both up-stream and down-stream. We have taken stock of the situation and steps are afoot to repair the damage.” According to the engineer, the preliminary assumption is that the sinkhole might have been triggered by rats’ burrow. “This stretch is a landfill and has loose soil. So, rats might have burrowed and this over time might have led to leakage. Heavy rain and the stormwater flowing through the burrow might have affected the soil structure creating the sinkhole,” said the engineer.