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Ooty channel in a state of neglect

D. Radhakrishnan
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It has become a source of fear during wet seasons

In bad shape: The heavily silted Kodappamund channel in Udhagamandalam. — Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
In bad shape: The heavily silted Kodappamund channel in Udhagamandalam. — Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy

With heavy rains lashing this hill station almost everyday, the appalling condition of the Kodappamund channel, which runs through the heart of the town, has become a topic of discussion in many places.

Some of the people residing along the channel told The Hindu here on Monday that the channel had been constructed soon after the deluge of  November 1978 which had claimed many lives and left the town ravaged.

Though the objective was to prevent flooding of low-lying areas and facilitating free flow of storm water, the channel has over the years not been serving its purpose. On the contrary it has become a source of fear during the wet seasons.

Regrettably schemes implemented off and on at huge cost to de-silt the channel, have not provided a lasting solution.

The residents also lamented that though it was one of the biggest civic problems here, it had not figured prominently in the promises, announcements and discussions before and after the recent elections to the local bodies.

A few years ago itself the Public Awareness Association of Udhagamandalam had expressed concern over the neglect of the Kodappamund channel and the threat it was posing to people residing along its banks. It had urged the authorities concerned to declare it as a place highly vulnerable to floods. However, so far nothing tangible has been done.

Meanwhile, a civic official said that while blaming the authorities the people also should accept responsibility for the sorry state of affairs.

He regretted that many, including traders and hoteliers, are using the channel as a garbage dump. Some were even throwing items like pillows and mattresses into it.

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