KOCHI: Just an hour of rain led to the flooding of several low-lying areas in Kochi on Sunday, raising concern over the effectiveness of the corporation’s Operation Breakthrough project aimed at tackling waterlogging issues in the city. MG Road, Jos Junction, KSRTC bus stand, Menaka and Kadavanthra witnessed severe waterlogging on Sunday.
“This has been the situation for many years. It is very difficult to walk through the MG Road stretch during the rainy season. Being one of the busiest areas with textile shops, the authorities need to find a permanent solution to this waterlogging problem on the stretch,” said Sunil Thomas, a resident of Kadavanthra. A month ago, Mayor M Anilkumar had said the footpath the Kochi Metro had constructed over a canal on MG Road resulted in waterlogging in the area.
“There isn’t enough space for the rainwater to drain into the canal. This results in waterlogging on MG Road. This issue was pointed out to the officials of the public works department and Kochi Metro Rail Limited and discussions were held to resolve it. Kochi Corporation engineers have submitted a design which ensures that the rainwater easily drains to the canal, thus avoiding flooding,” Anilkumar said on Sunday. “A final decision on the design is yet to be taken. Being one of the busiest stretches in the city, we are planning projects carefully,” he added.
The traders at MG Road have been demanding a permanent solution to the flooding issue. A hotel owner at MG Road said waterlogging has been persisting for many years. “Every time it rains, water seeps into my hotel. If this situation continues, it will be difficult for us to run the business, especially during the rainy season,” said the hotel owner.
The corporation had failed to implement the canal cleaning project ahead of the northeast monsoon due to various reasons. The mayor said the work on cleaning the canal at MG Road was halted after it was found out that the drains underneath the footpath were ruined.