KOCHI: Joseph Antony, a resident of Thoppumpady, shifted to his cousin’s place after his house was left flooded by the heavy rain on Thursday. But that is hardly an unfamiliar situation for him. “This has been the condition for the past five years,” said the 52-year-old Joseph, an autorickshaw driver. “The only option left to avoid waterlogging is to raise the foundation of the house. I have no faith in any party worker or councillor because all they do is give false promises and leave us to suffer.”
Though several pre-monsoon projects were proposed by the Kochi corporation and the district administration, waterlogging continues to persist, he pointed out.In West Kochi, the roads and canals were flooded during the pre-monsoon rain over the past few days, indicating how ill-prepared the city is for the monsoon season. Thoppumpady councillor Sheeba Durom said the public works department is constructing a new bridge opposite the market road and had built a bund without informing the council.
“Those are the major reasons for waterlogging in divisions 11 and 12 (both in West Kochi) even during normal rain. Another reason is that the irrigation department has not carried out dredging in the water bodies nearby. Cleaning small canals alone won’t resolve the issue unless dredging is done in the backwaters to remove the accumulated sludge and silt,” Sheeba said.
By afternoon, water started receding from the area. “One way to solve waterlogging in the area is to deepen and widen the existing canals and to clean them regularly,” said Joseph C L, a 76-year-old Thoppumpady resident. Meanwhile, opposition leader Antony Kureethara alleged the failure of the monitoring system of the ‘operation breakthrough’, despite crores being spent on the project, has led to waterlogging in the area. “Inspections should be carried out in areas where waterlogging has been reported even after the work under the operation breakthrough project was completed,” said M G Aristotle, the UDF parliamentary party secretary.