Improve infrastructure in village, demand rain-hit residents of Puramana Vayal in Gudalur
Expedite construction of new houses, they say
Residents of Puramana Vayal in Gudalur, one of the villages most affected by the recent rains and subsequent flooding caused by the Kalampuzha stream, have urged the district administration to take corrective measures to prevent further flooding in the future.
The residents believe that the flooding over the last two years to be a sign of things to come, and want the infrastructure in their village improved, including the reconstruction of a damaged bridge.
They also want a wooden bridge to be replaced with a permanent road.
Local residents said that most of the families living along the course of the Kalampuzha stream had been living there for more than 20 years, and that they had not witnessed any floods on such a scale.
“Only over the last two years has the stream flooded and surrounding homes inundated,” said P. Jose, a local resident, who feels that encroachments along the course of the stream could be contributing to more serious floodings.
The intense rains in Gudalur for two successive years have led to a bridge connecting a few houses in Puramana Vayal to the main road leading to the village becoming damaged.
S. Adeesh, another resident, said that the bridge had become damaged and that vehicles had been prohibited from using it for fear of the bridge collapsing.
“We urge the local body, when sanctioning the construction of a new bridge, to plan for the bridge to be built at a greater height and much wider, so that there is space for the water to flow underneath. The current bridge and its pillars, trap the water and doesn’t allow it to flow freely, leading to the water spilling over from the stream course and inundating surrounding residential areas,” said Mr. Adeesh.
Another demand from local residents is for the existing wooden bridge connecting the main hamlet of Puramana Vayal to a few surrounding houses to be replaced with a proper road. “The wooden bridge is at risk of being washed away, and it is perilous for people to use it during the rains,” said another resident.
Tribal families in Puramana Vayal were among the most affected, with their hamlet almost completely becoming flooded and the families losing most of their possessions.
The families, who were evacuated and sent to a school nearby for their safety, demanded that construction of the new houses which are being built for them away from the stream be expedited so that they can move into the new houses before the start of next monsoon.