Traffic snarls and downed shutters marked Friday as incessant rain that started the previous night continued into the morning throwing normal life out of gear in many places in the city.
Roads leading up to the south and north railway stations were completely under water leaving the incoming and outgoing passengers to much difficulty.
While reluctant autorickshaw drivers took passengers to and out of the south station through the western entry, the other entry at the eastern side remained almost out of bounds with even autorickshaws staying away.
Many vehicles plying through the area came to an abrupt stop after wading through knee-high waters. Except for the kiosks on wheels, shops and hotels near the south railway station remained closed late into the morning due to inundation. Even when they were opened there was hardly any business as employees were busy clearing out the water from inside.
KSRTC bus stand was another worst affected place and entire station premises got inundated forcing the offices functioning inside to close down. The office of the station master had to be shifted to a bus with the employees of incoming and outgoing buses reporting there. Passengers who came with heavy luggage were forced to wait almost outside the bus station since there was not a spot free of water inside the station to keep their belongings.
Traffic was almost reduced to a snarl with the stretches like the one between Kaloor and Kacherippady taking upwards of one hour to traverse during the peak morning hours. Police persons at the control room said that the water logging at the north and south ends had a cascading affect on the entire traffic in the city
In many of the interior roads the roads and drains could not be differentiated owing to inundation making life difficult for motorists as well as pedestrians.
West Kochi was also hit hard. Life was affected severely, with many roads getting inundated. Many parts of Fort Kochi, Palluruthy, and Mattancherry remained flooded.
People restrained from going out of their houses due to the flood threat looming large over the region. Many shops and other commercial establishments also remained shut.
District Collector M. Beena declared a holiday for schools in West Kochi following the heavy rains. Besides, many schools in the city declared holidays on their own after the school buses carrying the students couldn’t turn up at the school on time after getting bogged down in snarling traffic.
Many houses along the coast including Chellanam and Kannamali were also bearing the brunt of the inclement weather. Several families in the West Kochi region were shifted to safer places in the morning.
The district administration has started a round the clock monitoring to ascertain the impact of the rains on normal life in the area. Officials said that steps have been taken to ensure the safety of the residents. Signs of relief started emanating from the West Kochi region by Friday afternoon when rains took a temporary break. People who were stranded at many places started moving towards their destinations. But they had to face tough times, as drivers of autorickshaws were reluctant to take them on board.