LS elections & heatwave delay Thiruvananthapuram corporation’s pre-monsoon sanitation drive

Due to the ongoing Lok Sabha election campaigns, the councillors in charge of the ward-level sanitation committees, have become busy delaying the sanitation activities.
Workers engaged in cleaning activities at East Fort as part of the pre-monsoon sanitation drive launched by Trivandrum Road Development Corporation Ltd (TRDCL)
Workers engaged in cleaning activities at East Fort as part of the pre-monsoon sanitation drive launched by Trivandrum Road Development Corporation Ltd (TRDCL) Photo| B P Deepu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Owing to the Lok Sabha elections and prevailing extreme heat conditions, the city corporation is yet to begin the pre-monsoon sanitation drive in the state capital, which is vulnerable to urban flooding and flash floods.

As per the predictions by the Indian Meteorology Department (IMD), monsoon is expected to arrive in Kerala by mid-May and the state will receive above-normal rainfall this season. Despite strict orders from the High Court and the Local Self Government Department, the civic authorities are yet to launch the pre-monsoon sanitation drive, which is essential to combat communicable diseases and flash floods.

The state capital faced one of the worst urban flooding incidents last October, submerging residential areas. As per the direction from the LSGD, the government has sanctioned Rs 1 lakh each for all hundred wards for carrying out the drives. “We have scheduled around 985 works as part of the sanitation drive and without the clearance from the corporation council, we cannot begin the work,” said an official with the health wing under the corporation.

The city corporation and the district administration had convened multiple meetings with various departments concerned to ensure timely completion of the pre-monsoon sanitation drive. “We carried out a lot of cleaning drives in vulnerable areas where flooding occurred and we are on high alert. Erratic weather and rain patterns are a major challenge and we are closely watching. There is no point in preparing just for the monsoon,” said a top official of the city corporation.

Due to the ongoing Lok Sabha election campaigns, the councillors in charge of the ward-level sanitation committees, have become busy delaying the sanitation activities. “We are waiting for them to be back and a council session will be convened to expedite the sanitation drive and we are hoping to complete all the work by May end,” said the official.

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