Waterlogging: Citizens should think before dumping waste in public places, says Kerala High Court

The amicus curiae said the flooding witnessed on Tuesday in the Edappally area was perhaps because the Edappally stream had not been properly cleaned.
Waves ripple as vehicles forge through the waterlogged Ponevazhi road at Edappally
Waves ripple as vehicles forge through the waterlogged Ponevazhi road at Edappally Photo | A Sanesh

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday slammed the residents of Kochi for their part in causing waterlogging during the monsoon, citing the dumping of plastic and other waste in public areas, which then flows into canals and water bodies.

“Tonnes of plastic are removed from the canals. Every citizen should think that throwing waste could have been avoided. All boards illegally placed by several persons are also finally going to the water bodies. What will we do when people act like this? People and residential associations have to be with us to avert the menace,” Justice Devan Ramachandran said.

The amicus curiae said the flooding witnessed on Tuesday in the Edappally area was perhaps because the Edappally stream had not been properly cleaned. He added that a culvert leading to the stream has been illegally filled up, exacerbating the issue. The government pleader submitted that the cleaning of the canal is the responsibility of the irrigation department.

The amicus curiae also pointed out that city hotspots including St Vincent Road, Providence Road, and Panampilly Nagar are now being cleaned. However, when it comes to the St Vincent Road and Panampilly Nagar areas, even structural changes may be required, he added.

The court was told that St Martin’s Road, Palarivattom, saw large-scale flooding after the directions of the district collector to construct a culvert in region was not adhered to. S Kannan, the senior government pleader submitted that this will be looked into. The drain is being cleaned on a war footing, he added.

Court’s directive

  • The district collector, with the aid of the court-appointed high-powered committee, will ensure the ‘Edappally thodu’ (canal), as also all culverts and drains leading to it, are cleaned, decongested and kept ready for the monsoon. This shall be done forthwith, with the assistance of all necessary parties, including the National Highways Authority of India. The NHAI is directed to offer every assistance to the district collector and the committee, as may be requisitioned.

  • Cleaning of the roads shall be done and reported to the court by the next posting date.

  • As regards the St Vincent Road, Panampilly Nagar and the Jose Junction areas, the committee will evaluate the action to be taken at these spots and place their decisions within 10 days.

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