The road at Panampilly Nagar was dug up more than a year ago to construct a drain

The ditch in front of the Government High School on the otherwise smooth road at Panampilly Nagar has been a booby trap for unsuspecting motorists.

The police put up barricades here after a car plunged into the ditch on a night of heavy rain last month. The two passengers of the car escaped with their lives.

The trench was made as part of a decades-old project to resolve waterlogging in the LIG residential area and the southern side of the South overbridge. The plan was to link the drains here to the Perandoor Canal on the southern and northern ends.

The work was being carried out in phases since 2002. More than a year ago, the project work came to a halt near the school. It has been remaining unattended since due to a legal battle between the Corporation and owners of a few houses across the school through which the drainage would have to pass.

“Often there is a traffic block at this point as vehicles proceeding from the western side to the south have to deviate and enter the opposite track,” said Nithin C.P, a young executive with a private company.

Ravi, an autorickshaw driver, says the ditch has caused many accidents. “Despite the barriers, those unfamiliar with the deviation may still ride straight into it, especially during rain,” he said.

Rajendran P.G., a teacher at the Panamppilly Nagar Government High School, said the ditch was a safety threat to the students. “There have been incidents of students riding cycles falling into it. Hopefully, the authorities will address the issue without any more delay,” he said.

Bhama Padmanabhan, councillor representing Panampilly Nagar, said work on hardly 0.5 km remained. She said the families that had taken the matter to the court had agreed to withdraw the case after a meeting called by the Collector. “It’s not yet clear whether the families have given their consent letter to withdraw the case,” she said. The ditch would be covered and the work completed less than two weeks after the work resumed, she said.

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