Kochi: As hundreds of residents on the banks of Periyar fought to deal with flood waters inundating their houses, the cops were forced to deal with an unusual rush of visitors to Aluva Manappuram, Pathalam bridge-cum-regulator and the Purapallikavu bund to see the nature’s fury.
“The people are coming with families, including toddlers, to see the flood water. This not only hampers our rescue efforts but also forces us to spend our personnel for crowd control,” said Anil Kumar L, Sub Inspector, Alangad Police station, who had a tough time controlling the disaster tourists at Purapallikavu.
With Aluva Manappuram completely inundating with flood waters and witnessing a similar heavy rush of disaster tourists, the Ernakulam Rural Superintendent of Police ordered closure of the Manappuram Road from the national highway for traffic.
“He also ordered to cover one side of the old arch bridge with long cloths so as to restrict view of the Manappuram from the bridge. This will also prevent people from going to the riverside,” another police officer said.
All 13 shutters of the Pathalam bridge-cum-regulator were opened with the water level rising by two meters in 12 hours. Among others, a huge floating fish hatchery and a big country boat got washed up in flood waters and getting trapped by the shutter doors of the Pathalam bund.
“This has brought in more visitors and the bridge-cum-regulator got filled up with visitors by evening. Though the Fire Force officials tried to take out the fish hatchery, worth over Rs 3 lakh and fitted with CCTVs among others, they failed in their effort due to the fast flowing waters.
The unscientific parking of the vehicles nearly blocked the bridge-cum-regulator,” said an official of the Kerala Water Authority in charge of the facility....