City corporation’s efforts to prevent flooding pay dividends
Civic authorities of Kochi are heaving a sigh of relief as the city remains relatively free from floodwaters despite the heavy rain.
Usually, during the monsoon, civic administrators would be deluged with complaints of water logging. Corporation officials would also have to slog it out to clear floodwater from the streets. However, this time, rain water was drained into the backwaters to prevent flooding in the city. Civic administrators believe its efforts have started yielding results.
During the last two years, corporation divisions were allotted adequate funds for constructing drains. The drains built at divisions helped in clearing flood waters, said Soumini Jain, chairperson of the Works Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.
During the current fiscal, each division was allotted Rs.12 lakh. Last year, each division bagged Rs.10 lakh.
The extensive clearing of silt and other deposits from the Thevara Perandoor canal by Kochi Metro Rail Limited last year had also played a part, she said. The canal was cleaned as part of the preparatory works of the Kochi Metro Rail project.
However, severe shortage of rain had failed to test the efficacy of the work. This year, the canal’s increased carrying capacity had succeeded in clearing floodwaters, she said.
Meanwhile, opposition councillors pointed out that some areas in the city were still flooded.
“Areas near the KSRTC bus stand, some reaches of MG Road and Edappally are inundated,” said K.N. Sunilkumar, CPI(M) leader in the corporation council. Areas of West Kochi including Konam, Perumpadappu, Thoppumpady, Valummel, Mattanchery and Kazhuthumuttu too were flooded, he said.
M. Anilkumar, CPI (M) councillor of the corporation, said the real test for civic administrators was keeping floodwaters at bay when it rained incessantly during high tide. Kochi had not experienced intense showers as yet. If rain activity intensified, many areas would be flooded, he said.
Mr. Anilkumar said the previous regimes’ efforts to set up a flood management mechanism in the central city area had started paying dividends.