Floodwaters stay put in Chala market for the second consecutive day

Storm water enters a few shops and houses in the city’s commercial hub; trade affected as customers stay away from the flooded market; Smart City works in major roads further slowed down as pits dug for ducting work are now filled with water; Mayor Arya Rajendran convenes an all-party meeting

Published - May 21, 2024 05:09 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The flooded Kothuwal Street  at Chala  on Monday following  heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram.

The flooded Kothuwal Street at Chala on Monday following heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Vehicles wade through  a flooded road near Killippalam   on Monday following  heavy rain in Thiruvananthapuram.

Vehicles wade through a flooded road near Killippalam on Monday following heavy rain in Thiruvananthapuram. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

A flooded  street  at Chala  on Monday following  heavy rains, in Thiruvananthapuram.

A flooded street at Chala on Monday following heavy rains, in Thiruvananthapuram. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

The flooded Kothuwal Street  at Chala  on Monday following  heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram.

The flooded Kothuwal Street at Chala on Monday following heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

The commercial hub of the city, in and around Chala market, experienced waterlogging for the second consecutive day as overnight rain lashed the city on Monday. Storm water entered a few shops and homes in the area, with trade getting affected as customers stayed away from the flooded market. The city Corporation authorities deployed workers to clear the block in the major drains on the Killipalam-Attakulangara stretch, which led to flooding in the surrounding areas.

Chala market, Kothuval Street and Sabapathy Koil Street, along which are located some major wholesale and retail rice and grocery shops, remained flooded on Monday.

“The Smart City-related works in this area began around six months ago. When we raised our concerns regarding the delay, the authorities had promised to finish it in two months, but it is still ongoing. Today, a couple of visitors to the market fell into a water-filled pit. Floodwater entered around 8-10 shops, causing considerable losses. Since we have wholesale shops here, quite a few trucks ply along this road, but due to the ongoing works, the vehicles are unable to reach the shops,” says Vijayakumar, secretary of the Grain Merchants’ Association.

Crane deployed

According to Corporation officials, some slabs near the Ramachandran Textiles shop had caved in to the main drain along the Killipalam-Attakulangara route, restricting the storm water flow from Chala Market, Ganga Nagar, Karimadom Colony, Yamuna Nagar and other areas to the Thekkanakara Canal, a pre-Independence era canal which leads into the Parvathy Puthanar. The Corporation authorities deployed a crane to remove the concrete and other waste due to which the flow was restored to some extent by afternoon.

But, according to the assessment of the Corporation’s engineering wing, the Thekkanakara Canal does not have enough carrying capacity in case of sustained spells of rain. Irrigation department officils have been instructed to clear up the issues related to the canal at the earliest.

Improper alignment

At Barton Hill, parts of a wall caved in during the rain on Monday. Some areas on either side of the Kazhakuttom-Karode National Highway bypass, including Kadakampally Road and some sections of the service road, witnessed waterlogging for the second consecutive day. The issues in these areas are bound to persist as long as improper alignment of stormwater drains and disruption of natural watercourses are not addressed.

Due to the ongoing Smart City-related underground duct works in some major roads, including the Vanchiyoor-General Hospital Road and the Vazhuthacaud-Thycaud Road, residents in these areas as well as those who used to regularly commute through these roads have been facing difficulties. The much-delayed works in these areas have further slowed down as the pits dug for ducting work are now filled with water.

Mayor Arya Rajendran on Tuesday convened an all-party meeting as well as a meeting of engineering and health wing officials to assess the issues related to waterlogging as well as pre-monsoon cleaning activities. The engineering wing has now been divided into six groups to assess and address the issues that led to waterlogging in various spots.

Control room

The follow-up action on the complaints received at the round-the-clock control room was also assessed. In addition to the funds allocated to the wards for pre-monsoon cleaning, an additional amount of ₹25,000 will be available for the wards for renting pump sets and for tree branch pruning activities. The IMD has declared an orange alert for isolated heavy rainfall in the district till Wednesday.

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