Arrival of monsoon brings in ‘flood’ of fear among Thiruvananthapuram residents

Besides the threat of flooding, the residents here have to endure stinky, contaminated water and several diseases and pests.
Flooded houses at Kulapura, Jagathy
Flooded houses at Kulapura, JagathyPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Summer showers might have receded, but the monsoon is at our doorsteps, spreading fear among residents of Kulapura, Jagathy, Bund Road, Power House Road, Chalai, and SS Kovil Road around the Killi river.

Besides the threat of flooding, the residents here have to endure stinky, contaminated water and several diseases and pests.

Leela, a 73-year-old resident of Jagathy, lives alone in a small room at the end of a slope that is always bathed in contaminated water. A single cardboard-bounded room is what she calls her home. She has placed all her belongings on top of tables and boxes to keep them dry, and there is no place for her to sleep. “I have no one here. When the area flooded, I had to go to a distant relative’s house,” she said.

Latha, another resident, spoke about an added challenge. “The area is infested with snakes, rats, and civets, making it difficult for us to step out. Civets have taken up many of the vacant houses here. The constant threat of these creatures adds to our stress,” she said.

Vasantha and her 88-year-old mother, Parvathy, live beneath the Bund Road in Jagathy. Their house is surrounded by water on all sides. “When the Killi river overflows, our house gets inundated first. The inundated water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Vasantha.

For those residing in the Bund Road, enduring a stinky atmosphere is the biggest task. The pond behind the residential area, combined with the Killi river, brings in a tonne of waste materials. The stagnant water takes days to dry off and hence the situation becomes worse if it rains continuously. Most of them live in rented houses, making it even more challenging to stay away during flooding.

Sasikala and her husband, who run a small shop by the roadside where they live, say a proper drainage system is the need of the hour. “The government should plan and construct a proper drainage system. That’s the only solution for our plight,” said Sasikala.

Residents of Power House Road, Chalai, and SS Kovil Road are engaged in cleaning and sanitation work as water receded when the rain paused on Thursday. However, the recurring rains are exhausting them. Shop owners in these areas are also a worried lot.

Meanwhile, Ashraf, an autorickshaw driver, criticised the ineffective functioning of the Kudumbashree.

“People throw waste into the canal, and rain brings it back into our homes,” he said.

Residents criticised the government’s inaction and ineffective sanitation efforts. They believe that proper drainage systems, effective waste management and government measures could change their plight.

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The New Indian Express