THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Admitting that fund crunch has badly hit ‘Operation Anantha’, District Collector Biju Prabhakar has said that all works of emergency nature would be completed before Onam and rest will be carried forward through the tender process.
Recently, Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali told the Assembly that all the flood mitigation programmes were ‘monsoon-related’, whereas the Collector has now clearly pinpointed to the scarcity of funds.
“The District Collector can give the approval for works up to Rs 25 lakh and it is up to the State Disaster Management Authority to sanction funds for those works which are higher. A three-member cabinet sub-committee has been constituted for the overall monitoring. At every level, works can be carried out after it is accorded technical sanction and permission,” the Collector said in a statement released here on Tuesday related to ‘Operation Anantha’.
It was on May 1 this year that the district administration launched the flood mitigation drive on a war-footing which was later christened ‘Operation Anantha’. The deadline set was May 31, but unexpected hurdles kept delaying the project. This resulted in bad roads and uncovered pits dug up for canal-making. Retrieval of the natural flood water channels and hastening the water flow was the intention of the drive, for which encroachments over the canals were evacuated and a sketch dating back to the 1930s was retrieved.
While problems still persist, the district administration has been unable to reach a solution relating to the canal passing through the Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station. Flood water from Museum Observatory, Pulimoodu, Thycaud and Vazhuthacaud areas converge at Thampanoor. The canal to accommodate water from this area passes underneath the tracks and platform at the railway station. There is a need to clean and widen the canal, which lie in the hands of Railways.
The next step to be taken was to scientifically construct canals which have been restored from encroachments. This has been sanctioned Rs 22 crore.
According to sources, in order to prevent flooding of water at Thampanoor, the only option left was to either delay the flow of water or deviate it through some other route. If water tanks are constructed in front of the Secretariat and other government offices on the Secretariat-Thycaud stretch, 40 per cent of the flooding could be avoided. Scientifically rerouting water from Ayurveda College side via Pattoor and Vanchiyoor and water from Thycaud-Vazhuthacaud areas to Killiyar would sort the remaining 60 per cent.
The Collector has demanded that the public should stay patient and promised them an effective solution.