Kasturi Kamat woke up to a stream of water trying to seep into her house early on Friday morning, B.K. Padmanabhan arose to find his house surrounded by water.
On Thursday, when officials of the Mangalore City Corporation visited Kottara Chowki to stop work on Mahesh PU College building, little did they know that the construction had consequences that stretched beyond mere bureaucratic formalities.
Work on the building was stopped for alleged violation of laws, but the college maintained that there was no violation on its part.
With material from the construction site being dumped on a narrow rainwater drain that runs besides their houses, water that flows through it has backed up. And after Thursday night's heavy rain, water, which would have normally flowed through this drain, now flows through the houses of Kottara Chowki residents.
“Since the rain started, water has been inching towards our house. Now there is about a foot of water in front of our house. With every spell of rain, we get scared of water entering our house,” said Ms. Kamat. She added that the drain had not overflowed in the years preceding work on the college building.
Similarly, on the other side of the drain, water has spread over an empty plot, making it look like a marsh. Mr. Padmanabhan, who lives next to the plot, said: “During heavy rain, water overflows and goes through my house on to the road. Often, overflowing water surrounds my house from all sides,” he said.
Water stagnation, he added, started about six months ago when work on the college began. “There is a problem of mosquitoes and snakes owing to this,” he said.
The situation forced the residents to lodge a complaint with Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Harish Kumar on Thursday. “We have given the college authorities a day to clear the drain. Else, we'll have to clear it ourselves and impose a fine on them,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu.
However, the blocked rainwater drain is not the only point of distress for residents in the area.
The road connecting National Highway 66 (towards Udupi) and IV Main, which apart from being in a horrible potholed state also skirts dangerously along a wide storm water drain.
According to Bhaskar S., who operates the MCC pump house on the road, water flowed into the drain came from uphill areas of Konchady and Kottara. “During the monsoon, this drain always overflows. There is no fence around the drain, making it dangerous to travel on the road during monsoon, and especially at night,” he said. A truck fell into the drain around six months ago, said Ajay K., a software professional.
The corporation commissioner said the civic body would look into the problems highlighted by the residents.
Keywords: Mangalore City Corporation