Thiruvananthapuram: With monsoon rain lashing Thiruvananthapuram and neighbouring districts, former district collector Biju Prabhakar has warned of floods coming back.
It was during his tenure Operation Anantha was launched, removing encroachments on a 26-km stretch. He says the drain at Indian Coffee House, passing below the railway line, has a pile foundation where cave-in occurs, triggering floods.
The flagship flood-mitigation drive was launched in April 2015, mainly in East Fort and Thampanoor areas notorious for quickly getting inundated.
When former Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson retired from service during February 2016, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had evinced keen interest, and it could be replicated in other parts of India.
Similar efforts followed successfully in other parts of the state, including Kannur and Ernakulam.
Mr Prabhakar recalled that Operation Anantha was implemented in the capital city without any budget.
“The current setup is only a temporary solution. In another two years, it is expected to be back to square one,” said Mr Prabhakar, currently the social justice special secretary.
He said there are two pile foundations which are having 2.5-metre height and 1.5-metre width along a 140-metre drain which starts from ICH and passes underneath the railway line.
From his experience in tackling the floods in Thampanoor, he says it happens because of sand deposit.
“So, within the last three years, much sand would have been accumulated. This would cause another massive flood happening in Thampanoor,” he said.
Seven hundred loads of sand were removed from the 140-metre drain due to the yeomen service put in by the then irrigation executive engineer Maju Balakrishnan and his team and an efficient contractor, Vinod.
The toilet sewage was cleaned by Vinod's labourers, whom Mr Prabhakar calls as “real heroes”.
Later, when he got the additional responsibility of the city corporation administrator coinciding with the 2015 civic elections, he came out with an order to construct overflow duct across the Putharikandam which prevented the flooding. Earlier East Fort was flood-prone due to the overflowing of Amayizhanchan canal.