Showers lash Kochi on Monday evening, cool down the scorched earth

Heavy showers lashed the city on Monday evening, bringing respite from the sweltering days.

The showers, accompanied by lightning and thunder, continued for nearly one hour, catching may city dwellers off-guard. Two-wheeler riders, who had not kept rainwear ready, were drenched midway. Vehicular movement turned sluggish along the city roads as rain intensified.

The summer shower, which started around 3.30 pm, continued till 4.30 p.m. It continued to drizzle for hours together after the rain thinned. Thunder showers and lightning too continued all through the night.

More than the motorists and pedestrians, it was the campaign managers of the candidates in the fray that were hit by the sudden down pour. Campaigns had to be called off for more than one hour only to resume after the weather improved.

The LDF candidate Christy Fernandez called off his campaign in open jeep for one hour in the Vaduthala and Cheranalloor sector as rain intensified. Later, he shifted to a car to complete the tour. However, a mass run organised for garnering support for the candidate went ahead as announced earlier, said P. Rajeev, the chief campaign manager of Mr. Fernandez.

The campaign of UDF candidate K.V. Thomas too was hit by the heavy downpour. The candidate was scheduled to tour parts of Palluruthy where the electioneering had to be postponed following the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday.

The sudden downpour served as a warning to the local administration to speed up its pre-monsoon activities. Though the local body received no complaints of waterlogging, some residents feared that their houses would be waterlogged if rain continued, said Soumini Jain, chairperson of the Works Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

With two months left for the onset of southwest monsoon, instructions were issued to the officials to expedite the preparatory works, including the cleaning of drains. Instructions were issued to the officials at a meeting held on Monday, she said. The cleaning works, including deepening the mouths of major canals, will have to be undertaken.

Staff Reporter writes:

Inordinate delay in widening narrow corridors along the Kochi Metro’s Aluva-Pettah alignment had its repercussion on Monday as evening showers worsened traffic snarls in the vicinity of metro work sites. Traffic was held up in narrow portions of the road that have not been widened at Kaloor, Ernakulam North, MG Road and Sahodaran Ayyappan Road, traffic police said.

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