Thiruvananthapuram: Last year's disastrous floods in Kerala ideally should have forced authorities to remove further encroachments that impede the smooth flow of water in public places. Kerala Government's Operation Anantha, which has been ongoing for a few years, aims at reducing the threat of floods. The delay in the launching the second phase of the project could make the capital city vulnerable to floods in the upcoming rainy season.
It has come to light that a June 2017 report of then district collector, S Ventakesapathi urging the state government to begin the next stage of Operation Anantha immediately is gathering dust at the Revenue Department. The government seems to be cold to the proposal despite calls to prevent flooding of the city’s roads during rainy season.
Parts of a few city roads were flooded in the rains that occurred last week. The condition will worsen as the rains will gain strength in the coming days.
It is suspected that deliberate attempts at the political-bureaucratic levels might be sabotaging the flood-mitigation project so as to aid vested interests who could be targeted for illegal encroachments.
At least 200 works have to be completed to ensure encroachments are removed and flooding is prevented.
A report on the accomplished and pending works was prepared by the collector after reviewing the first stage of work.
The report says the flooding of streets in Thampanoor, which is in the heart of the Thiruvananthapuram city, has considerably reduced after the unclogging of drainages.The floods here were caused by water flowing in from the vicinity of the hospital at Thycaud.
Drainages near Ponnara Park were widened and those under the railway station near Chaithram Hotel and the one towards powerhouse were cleared to improve the outflow of water. About 800 loads of dirt were removed from these two drainages. The stretch from Pazhavangadi Temple to Abhedashramam was rebuilt, the report further states.
The collector’s report also states that a waste management unit has to be made in Karimadom Colony. Drainages in Uppidamoodu Bridge, Kariyalthodu and Pattam have to be cleared.
If the stage-2 work is not carried out, the benefits from stage I would go down the drain.
Works were also carried out in Thampanoor-Mosque Lane, Thekkanamkara Canal, Putharikkandam, Aristo Junction, near Ramachandran Textiles, Manjalikkulam Road, Attakulangara, Ruby Nagar, Idappazhangi, Marakkada-Kuryathi, Chala-Erumakkuzhi, Rottikkada Junction, Killipalam-Tamil School, Kuryathi-BSNL compound and Amayizhanjan Thodu in stage I.
The then minister VS Sivakumar, chief secretary, Jiji Thompson and district collector, Biju Prabhakar had led the work in the first phase.