Experts suggest a slew of flood-control measures

Special Correspondent

Recommend maintenance wing for drainage system

Additional culvert proposed at Thampanoor

Drain proposed from East Fort to Thekkanamkara

Thiruvananthapuram: The expert committee which studied the problem of recurrent flooding in Thampanoor and East Fort areas has recommended the creation of a maintenance wing to ensure proper functioning of the drainage system in the city.

In its report to the State government, the committee observed that the efficient functioning of drains and canals greatly depended on their maintenance. “Hence, the creation of a maintenance wing with sufficient facilities at appropriate level is necessary,” it said.

S.G. Mayya from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, at Surathkal, near Mangalore; Yedupathy Putty from the National Institute of Engineering, Mysore; and N.K. Goel from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee; are the committee members.

The report highlights the need for an additional culvert across the railway lines to minimise flooding at Thampanoor. The committee observed that the inadequate carrying capacity of the existing culvert was the root cause for the flooding in the area. It called upon the government for intervention at the highest level to seek the support of the Railways for the construction of the culvert.

Pipeline realignment

The experts stressed the need to realign the large number of sewage and water pipelines crossing the Amayizhanjan drainage canal at a low level. This, they noted, is blocking the waterway owing to collection of debris. Apart from realigning the pipes, the accumulated debris should be removed at regular intervals, in the pattern of garbage collection by Kudumbasree workers. The drain should be de-silted and provided with silt chambers, they said.

The report recommends the construction of a concrete drain to divert floodwaters in the East Fort area to the Thekkanamkara canal and raising the footbridge at Azhagapura Kota. It proposes widening of the railway culvert at Uppidamoodu to channel floodwaters and redesigning the downstream stretch of the drain.

Another proposal is the preservation of the waterlogged area beyond the confluence of three streams at Kannamoola up to the Akkulam lake as a natural flood moderation zone. Maintenance of the Thekkanamkara drain and the TS canal has been proposed as an important flood control measure.

The committee has not favoured the proposal to divert floodwaters from Thampanoor to the Killiyar along the northern side of the railway line in view of the need to store and pump out the water. Another proposal to divert storm water westwards from Thampanoor to Uppidamoodu downstream of the railway track was not recommended.

Emergency response

The report says the government can consider the option of pumping out water from the upstream area of the railway culvert at Thampanoor as an emergency response to heavy flooding.

The committee held discussions with Additional Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar; Tom Jose, Secretary, Public Works; S.M. Vijayanand, Principal Secretary, Local Self-Government; District Collector Sanjay Kaul; and senior officials of the Public Works Department and the Kerala State Urban Development Project (KSUDP).

Public Works Minister Mons Joseph said the Cabinet sub-committee constituted to study the problem of flooding would prepare a detailed project report after examining the proposals submitted by the expert committee and those of the technical committee and the KSUDP.

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