THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the past five months, residents of Sree Krishna Nagar at Jagathy in the capital have been facing a harrowing time due to the construction of a drain on a three-metre-wide lane that leads from their locality to Kochar Road.
The work, undertaken by the Irrigation Department to end water-logging in the area, has turned out to be a curse for the residents.
The pit for the drain ,dug up at the centre of the lane, is around two metres wide. This means around 50 families in the locality find it tough to negotiate their way to reach Kochar Road.
It was after the work progressed to a considerable extent the residents noticed instead of taking the direction towards Killi river, the drain was progressing towards the Kochar road end.
Without removing the encroachments over a natural canal leading to the Killi river on the other end, the drain has been ill designed which will lead storm water ending up on the Kochar Road already facing serious water-logging during heavy rain.
In the wake of complaints from residents, the Technical Inspection Wing of the Finance Department visited the site and conducted a detailed examination of the project.
“We have examined the project in detail and are in the process of preparing a final report,” said Assistant Chief Technical Examiner N Chandra Babu.
According to sources, the Technical Inspection Wing has found serious lapses in the design and execution of the project. Residents pointed out, since the drain was planned to end at Kochar Road, the portion from where it begins has to be dug up by an additional 10-15 feet to ensure smooth flow of water.
This will affect the structural stability of the compound walls and houses along the narrow lane, they said. Also, with the drain taking more than two-thirds the width of the lane, laying of cables for various public utilities and drainage pipes will be near-impossible in future.
Permissions Not Obtained
According to the local councillor, the city Corporation was kept in the dark about the details of the work. “No permission has been obtained from the Corporation. Since it is a corporation road, permission from the civic body is mandatory,” said Sheeja Madhu, Councillor, Jagathy
When contacted, PWD officers confirmed no permission was taken from the Works Department regarding the further course of the drain on to Kochar Road.
Work Stopped Voluntarily
Residents claim the work was stopped after they approached Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas on July 18.
The Minister, it is learnt, has sought a report from the Minor Irrigation Department on the technical feasibility of the work.
When contacted, Minor Irrigation Executive Engineer Rajeev K S said no orders have been issued to stop the work “In the wake of protests from local people, we have decided to stop the work voluntarily,” he said.
The officer said the drain was initially planned to end on a culvert on Kochar Road. He also denied reports the Works Department was not informed about the work.
“We had contacted the office of the PWD Executive Engineer in April itself,”he said.
“Though we had planned to cut through Kochar Road to end the drain into the culvert, we have now decided to increase the depth of the existing drain on Kochar Road.”
Hazard For Residents
Even as uncertainty prevails over the future of the drainage work, residents find the wide uncovered pit a hazard, especially for children in the locality. “The pit is very deep and iron rods used for construction of the drain protrude from it on both sides. Residents have to walk through the narrow stretch by clinging on to the compound walls of houses at certain spots. Walking through the lane, especially after dark, is very dangerous,” said Dr Sujith Sasidharan, a local resident