Kochi: It usually takes around two hours to reach Ernakulam from Pala in normal morning travels. But today, it took close to three hours not because the traffic was too slow but due to heavy rain and fog.
The rain which started Saturday morning lasted till evening all along the route making movement much tricky for vehicles, especially for two-wheelers.
The gusty winds accompanied by heavy rain which tore through many places in the morning hours made it difficult to see the road.
The Ernakulam - Pala road, which was an affected stretch in the last year's deluge, however, was completely free from the flood this time, except the usual flooding in Pala town.
The buses in the stretch had a halt for more than 24 hours until the floodwater started to recede from Pala town and nearby areas en route following the decrease in rainfall in the evening.
According to local people, the rain was much heavier to pose a threat to the moving traffic in the route.
"The floodwater in Pala town usually recedes immediately. The issue is with few places on the way, such as parts of Thalayolaparambu, and Kanjiramattom and also some low-lying areas," said Baiju Joseph, a resident of Puliyannur near Pala.The Kanjiramattom - Puthenkavu stretch, which was a highly vulnerable even in small rains, is entirely free from inundation this time. Even after this much rain the 500-metre of the stretch which got submerged damaged many vehicles in the August floods remains free from flooding.
The alternate Vaikom - Tripunithura stretch which had many heavily inundated parts last year is also free and also the traffic there was reportedly smooth. "Unlike last year, no heavy water-logging was reported in the Vaikom - Tripunithura stretch," an official said.
Same as the previous year, the Meenachil river inundated the Pala town and adjacent areas. A major portion, including hundreds of shops and establishments in Kottaramattom, Kurisupally Junction, town bus stand, stadium junction and river view road, remained submerged....