Flood fault lines in Thiruvananthapuram

TNIE lensman B P Deepu captures the havoc that a few hours of incessant rain wreaked on the state capital on Friday
Varghese, wife Ramya and child in their one-room house at Balanagar near Vettukadu that was inundated in the rain
Varghese, wife Ramya and child in their one-room house at Balanagar near Vettukadu that was inundated in the rainPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nowadays, the romance of the rains has become more of a nightmare for the people of the state capital. After every rain, the floodwater brings with it the uncleared waste accumulated on roadsides and seeps into homes to make a mess of the lives of those residing in low-lying areas.

This is the story in several parts of the city. Yet the ones extremely affected are the localities in and around All Saints’ College, especially the residential areas of Eenthivilakam, and Balanagar in Vettucaud. Following the rain, which is sometimes intermittent and sometimes continuous, the narrow lanes of these regions are largely deserted now, with most people shifting to their relatives’ homes or moving to relief camps.

For the few who choose to stay back hoping things will get better, life becomes hell with water entering their homes and remaining ankle-deep. They are unable to cook and have to depend on takeaways.

Meanwhile, the waste in the area that should have been removed during the pre-monsoon cleaning drive but wasn't, has entered their homes with the floodwater. Adding to the menace is the risen level of septic tanks.

The situation now is grim, with the water beginning to stink, sparking fears of diseases. And barring a few occasions when they get the floodwater pumped out, the authorities do not seem to care. The exercise, however, is futile as the area gets flooded in the next spell of rain.

A boy wades through a flooded lane on his bicycle at Balanagar. A site, which was cleared during the monsoon cleaning drive and which now remains littered with garbage, is seen on the side
A boy wades through a flooded lane on his bicycle at Balanagar. A site, which was cleared during the monsoon cleaning drive and which now remains littered with garbage, is seen on the sidePhoto | Express

“What the region needs is a proper drainage mechanism. The areas are low lying and the drainage system has not been properly aligned to the rest of the city, which is on an elevated level,” says a sanitation worker. Other than some cosmetic moves, there has been no proper intervention from authorities, allege the residents.

“In good times, health department officials would visit homes and ask us to drain stagnant water from flower pots in our front yard. Now, despite our entire house being underwater, they hardly come this side,” says Shirley Ronald, a homemaker from Balanagar.

The scenes our lensman captured from some of the localities amply show how the showers that pummelled the landscape for just over a week exposed the fault lines in the city’s drainage infrastructure.

The frames stress that with such rain spells becoming a norm in the state during monsoon, it is time the authorities pull up their socks and act.

Residents use smoke to protect their cattle from flies and mosquitoes
Residents use smoke to protect their cattle from flies and mosquitoesPhoto | Express

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