TIRUCHY: Known for its water scarcity issues, Manapparai is now struggling with excess, with surplus flow from several major lakes in and around the block on Sunday flowing into residential areas. This called for the rescue of nearly 200 families who were then shifted to safety.
Manapparai and its surrounding areas have been witnessing excessive rainfall at an average of 40 mm over the past couple of weeks, owing to which several lakes in and around the block are filled to the brim. At present, the continuing rainfall has raised the storage of nine major lakes, including Manapparai big lake, Karuppur lake, and Poigai lake, to their maximum capacity, and the Sevalur lake, on the verge of becoming full.
Owing to the poor maintenance of the branch canals of the major lakes, the surplus flows have made their way into residential areas in Manapparai town. Locals were left stranded in three-foot-deep stagnation.
"Last night rainwater started to enter our residential area; by Sunday morning there was stagnation up to three feet. The stormwater drain which is supposed to clear the stagnation is seeing reflux as the channel at the other side is gushing with floodwater. Thus the water has nowhere else to go. Nearly 200 families were stranded in their houses, without any sleep. On Sunday we were shifted to a nearby place," said Nagarajan, a resident of Chokkalingapuram.
Meanwhile, the floodwater from Poigai lake washed away the only pathway connecting Kelakottaikaranpatti with the outside world. A similar situation prevailed in Vadugapatti, with the village getting cut off.
"The floodwater washed the only pathway that connects our village with the rest away and left nearly 50 families in the village stranded. As the other sides of the village have come under water, damage to the road has turned the village into a small island. Bridging the seven-foot-long gap with wood and iron sticks, locals are being rescued to safety," said Velmurugan from Kelakottaikaranpatti.
The floodwater also inundated the Tiruchy - Dindigul NH at JJ Nagar in Manapparai, posing hardship to road users. Similarly, stormwater drain breach hit the NH near Pirattiyur in Tiruchy. "Improper maintenance of stormwater drains, branch canals, and encroachments have been the major reasons for the current situation in Manapparai. We urge the district administration to take action to properly maintain the canals and drains for averting such a situation in the future," said Sekar, an activist from Manapparai.
A senior official from Manapparai municipality said that residents in vulnerable areas are being shifted to safer locations. Swift action is being taken to clear stagnation in residential areas, the official added.
Meanwhile, nearly 50 residents of Andavarkovil on Sunday morning blocked the Tiruchy-Dindigul NH demanding swift action in clearing rainwater stagnation in the village. Municipal officials and Manapparai DSP rushed to the spot and made peace talks with the protesters, following which they dispersed.