NAGERCOIL: It’s double whammy for the 20-odd families in Pechiparai in the aftermath of Ockhi. Already reeling under the pain of losing homes, the residents are faced with another problem: if they remove the trees themselves, they face the threat of legal action and if they do not, they cannot enter their homes. Adding to their woes is a spurt in the population of insects and mosquitoes, with the fallen foliage playing no small role.
As a temporary measure, the families living at Gandhinagar in Pechiparai near Kulasekharam have shifted to other houses in the neighbourhood or set up a makeshift shelters nearby. While they were able to remove uprooted from their roofs, they fear shift the trunks off their premises fearing legal action as the trees belong to the government.
Speaking to Express, a resident of Gandhinager said, “Two trees belonging to the government fell on our roof on the day of my daughter’s marriage. After my daughter and relatives, including friends, left for mandapam at 8.15 am, my wife and I were planning to leave. It was around 8.30 am when the trees fell on us, collapsing the roof and cracking my head.
For two days, we couldn’t remove the trees. Later, we had the trunks removed using an electricity board crane. However, we refrained from hacking and chopping it as it belongs to the government. We filed petitions 10 days ago but no action taken. Many from the neighbourhood are facing a similar predicament.”
The backyard and the ground next to the house are cramped with trees, branches and leaves, providing a suitable breeding ground for insects, ants and mosquitoes. “If it rains now, we would have to keep draining the tarpaulin to keep water from entering the house. We have not yet received funds or help,” he lamented.