THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Amayizhanjan canal is not only a notorious dumping space, but is also the ideal location to put the blame for the flash floods in the city.
By pointing to the totally blocked canal, the authorities can easily wash off their sins of allowing encroachments over culverts, the major lifelines in the city. Years’ old culverts at various points are either partially or totally blocked owing to encroachments, making the city prone to flash floods.
Blessed with numerous culverts and canals, the city’s glorious past has no records of flash floods like the one which happened on Friday night. Unfortunately, corrupt authorities and the greedy public have totally messed up the city’s drainage system. Widening of canals, including Amayizhanjan, is necessary. Priority must be given to refurbish the culverts too, experts say.
The culvert which runs from Panicker’s lane in Sasthamangalam to Pipinmoodu is partially blocked. Flouting norms, several houses have come up encroaching on the culvert. Reclamation of paddy fields has added to the woes. The culvert, which has a diameter of one metre at its beginning, shrinks to around 30 cm at Pipinmoodu. Also, a shop at the beginning of Panicker’s lane has blocked a portion of the culvert.
In short, the culvert which joins a canal in Pipinmoodu cannot carry a significant volume of water, thus disrupting the drainage system of the entire area.
In Ambalamukku, a culvert which leads to Vayalikada has been encroached on. The culvert under the Corporation road has been totally blocked due to this.
Along the Kalakaumudi Road on the GG Hospital-Kumarapuram stretch, a major portion of the culvert has been encroached on, thus partially blocking the flow of storm water. Another culvert on the Kumarapuram-Poonthi Road, which joins the canal near the Medical College, has been completely blocked.
The Enchakkal-Attakulangara Road has a completely blocked culvert. Failure to check the flash floods has the answer in these numerous culverts, which are either partially or totally blocked.
In start contrast to the scientifically designed drainage system of the city which exists from the royal era, the ‘modern’ city lacks basic facilities to ensure the safety and security of the residents.
The Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Limited (TRDCL) has refurbished the major culverts which came under the City Road Improvement Project (CRIP) roads. However, it had faced tough opposition from the public in some areas.
“Unless the Corporation and the Irrigation Department show the will to clear the encroachments over the culverts, floods will become a regular feature in the city. There is no point in shedding crocodile tears unless there is an end to corruption and unholy nexuses,” said TRDCL project director Anil Kumar Pandala.