To save Kochiites from wading through the flooded streets during the rains, civic authorities are hastening the clean-up drive of drains and canals.
Though the administrators are confident of wrapping up works before the onset of the monsoon, which is hardly a month away, Opposition councillors fear that the measures are inadequate to save the city from inundation.
Even though all the scheduled pre-monsoon cleaning works would not be completed, works for draining out rainwater would be completed before the rains, said Soumini Jain, chairperson of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.
Cleaning of drains, removing weeds and silt from canals were progressing. These works were likely to be completed during the last week of May, she said. The Railways had offered to clean up the culverts on its property, Ms Soumini said.
But the Opposition councillors fear the city will be in knee-deep trouble. “None of the major canals running through the city has been cleaned till now,” said M. Anilkumar, former Works Standing Committee chairperson of the corporation. The monsoon preparedness of the civic administration had ended with the cleaning of small drains, he said.
As the de-silting of major canals has not happened, areas like St. Benedict’s Road, Panampilly Nagar, Karukappally, Palluruthy and Edappally are likely to be flooded. The city was saved of flooding last year as the rain clouds had skipped the State.
Though the Irrigation Department had offered to clean up the canals as announced by Minister P.J. Joseph earlier, it had not materialised so far, he said.