KOCHI: Even as weathermen have predicted early and normal monsoon, Kochi corporation authorities are yet to complete the pre-monsoon cleaning of drains and canals. If the current situation is any indication, city residents have to face worse water logging this year than they suffered through last year. Though Corporation authorities claim that 85 per cent of cleaning works have been completed in central city areas, some of the regular problem locations have not been cleaned. In west Kochi, especially Fort Kochi area, only less than 30 per cent of cleaning works have been completed.
Cleaning of small canals and drains may turn out to be a futile exercise as the biggest, more than 10 km long Thevara – Perandoor Canal has not been de-silted. Most of the drains in the city open to this canal and if it is not de-silted, it may result in heavy water logging. However, Corporation works committee chairman P.M Haris told DC that a massive programme to clean TP Canal worth Rs.16 crore has been initiated under AMRUT scheme. Tenders have already been invited for it. Hence, the canal was not included in the Corporation’s annual cleaning works.
“In case of heavy flooding, the Corporation will carry out emergency cleaning of the canal,” he said. The civic body has allocated nearly Rs 6 crore for the annual cleaning drive with each division being given Rs 3 lakhs. The standing committee chairman admitted that while the local body was confident of the progress of pre-monsoon cleaning works in the central part of the city, there were some problem areas. “Parts of MG Road, the stretch from Desabhimani junction to Mathrubhumi in Banarjee Road and Palarivattom to Changambuzha Park are the areas where there are chances of water logging. The holes along the stretch from Palarivattom to Changampuzha Park have been blocked and rainwater from the road will not flow to the drain.”
Cleaning of big canals except the Mullassery Canal undertaken by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has not begun yet. Desilting of Changadampokku thodu has started only on Wednesday. Though civic authorities claim that drains along the Metro construction sites from Jos junction to Vyttila have been cleaned, city residents are doubtful over its usefulness as most of the drains are still damaged and clogged with construction debris....