KOCHI: As the city continues to battle waterlogging, residents are questioning the effectiveness of Operation Breakthrough which was launched with a lot of fanfare. Even the district collector has agreed that the operation hasn’t achieved full success.
According to lawyer Ebenser Chullikkat, nearly 75% of the work remains to be carried out. “As per the authorities, the area stretching from MG Road to Marine Drive has a slant towards the west, while the slope on the opposite side is towards the east. Only the west side of MG Road has been cleaned. For the east side to be cleaned, the Railways needs to be taken on board,” he said.
“The culvert on the railway property needs to be widened to enable a proper flow of water,” he added. Besides, the debris and accumulated silt under the Vallarpadam railway bridge should have been cleared. “We had approached the High Court seeking redressal of the problem and the judge had even passed an order directing the authorities to clear the debris. If the silt and the debris are removed, it will solve nearly 90% of the waterlogging faced by the city. The water needs to go somewhere, right?” he asked.
According to Ajaykumar of Udaya Colony, the operation has been a no go for residents of the colony. “Nothing was done in the canal that passes close to the colony. We feel betrayed. The situation is the same at P&T Colony. The authorities have shifted 10 families from the colony to a relief camp ,” he said.
According to Ebenser, this is the responsibility of the disaster management authority. “They could initiate steps like using high-powered pumps like the ones used in Alappuzha and Mumbai to pump out water. These pumps will suck even the garbage that clogs the drains,” he said.
Meanwhile, Collector Jaffar Malik said, “No work under the operation has been carried out in Udaya Colony. We can’t find a lasting solution. That’s why we have proposed to shift them to apartments. Work in this direction is going on at Mundamveli.”