THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The presence of water weeds in the Parvathy Puthanar was said to have hindered rescue operations at Karikkakom on the fateful morning of February 17, 2011, when a school van plunged into the canal.
A year later, there is little change in the scenery. The whole stretch of the canal here is still choked with water weeds, so thickly that you would have to poke around with a pole to see a drop of water. In some places, tree trunks can be seen half-submerged.
Little has been done to clean up this part of the canal, whose polluted waters have left one young survivor still strapped to a wheelchair and taking liquid food through a tube.
True, sidewalls have been constructed on one bank as promised, but that’s about all.
All the six children who perished in the accident belong to this region. On Tuesday evening, a memorial was being put up for them - Malavika, Achu K S, Arsha Baiju, Ujjwal Shobu and Jinu Asimuddin Rasik and their ‘ayah’ Bindu - ahead of the first anniversary observance on Friday.
‘’All the kids were from around here,’’ said Baiju, the father of Arsha, who died in the mishap.
The accident occurred around 9.10 am when the van was taking the tiny tots to their school, the Little Hearts Kindergarten, Pettah.