List of vulnerable points prepared 20 days after monsoon set in.

Clogged, overflowing drainages, often resulting in inundated roads and water-logging in low-lying areas, are nothing new to the capital city. A delayed approach from the authorities to the issue, too, is nothing new, and this year as well the city is going through a monsoon that has sprang up filthy water ‘fountains’ at more than one point.

The authorities did act. Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, citing complaints from the public over overflowing drainages at 15 such points in the city, asked officials to immediately prepare a list and to submit work estimates. But that was on June 23, more than 20 days after the monsoon set in.

The Minor Irrigation Department, entrusted with the job, identified 23 other points as well, taking the number to 38, and submitted the estimates to the district administration the very next day. However, officials themselves say that the actions have come a tad bit too late, since the work, once approved, will take at least a month to complete, and by then the monsoon will be over. Admitting that the work should have been taken up at least two months earlier, officials now hope that at least the approvals will not be delayed.

The Minor Irrigation, pointing out in its estimate report that the main reason for overflowing was due to “low carrying capacity, silt deposit, waste dumping and unprotected side-walls and top slabs.” The executive engineer also mentions that waste was getting accumulated in drains and ‘thodus’ due to non-removal. The total estimate, for 38 works, is Rs.2.09 crore with some of the major works (estimates above Rs.10 lakh) proposed to be taken up being restoration and provision of covering slab to the ‘thodu’ from KBAC lane to the Kariyal ‘thodu’ Reach-I; maintenance and cleaning of the Ganganagar ‘thodu’ at Kamaleswaram; that of the existing ‘thodu’ at Kumarichantha in the Ambalathara ward; the cleaning of the Bhoosthithi ‘thodu’ at Prasanth Nagar in Akkulam; maintenance of the existing ‘thodu’ in NSP Nagar of Kesavadasapuram ward. The rest of the work include work on the Pattom ‘thodu’, the Valiyathodu at Jagathy, and the Kuravankonam ‘thodu.’