Thrissur: Officials of two panchayats here will hold a joint meeting on Sunday to sort out the issue of water-logging and flooding in their limits amid allegations that closure of water outlets due to reclamation of paddy fields for residential purposes caused them.
Vallachira and Cherpu grama panchayats which are lying on either side of the Thrissur-Kodungallur state highway had faced severe flooding last year after the Karuvannur-Arattupuzha bund road breached as Chimminy and Peechi dams were opened simultaneously.
“The area was flooded this year though neither of the dams was opened,” Ajith Kumar, convener of the Vallachira Panchayat Development Commi-ttee, said. “This was due to the blocks in the eight culverts starting from Karuvannur Cheru-palam to Oorakam Anjovu caused by the encroachments and illegal reclamation of common water channels on the side of the paddy fields. When we tried to remove the earth that was unloaded for reclamation blocking the free flow of flood water, a resident objected and called the police during the peak time of floods this year. The police, however, ordered the removal of the earth.”
There was public protest and road roko in the area during the floods this year demanding clearing of all water channels and canals which take water from Vallachira-Cherpu regions to Herbert Canal.
“The sluices at the area where the rain and flood water joins the Herbert Canal are narrow,” Vallachira Panchayat president Sophie Francies said. “There is a need for widening the existing sluices and the creation of more to ensure free flow of rainwater.”
She said the residents who are not willing to leave the encroachments will face tough action.