Many of the residents of Achutha Menon Enclave Road have put their houses and holdings up for sale. Waterlogging is the sole reason which drove them to take such a decision. Almost all houses on the shores of Pallichal thodu, which passes through Thoppumpady and Therebhagam divisions, face the threat of waterlogging.
The major reason for waterlogging in these areas is shrinking of width of Pallichal thodu. Several houses on the banks of the creek were renovated only for raising the foundations of these structures. “We reconstructed our old house and raised its foundation by one metre. Now, water doesn’t enter inside our house,” said Babu K D, a resident of Achutha Menon Enclave Road. “With back-to-back instances of waterlogging, many of the residents find it difficult to stay here. A few houses in the area are up for sale. The residents have moved out to rented houses,” he said. “Unfortunately, nobody turns up for purchasing the houses in the area. So, the residents are unable to move out from the area,” Babu said.
As per records of district survey department, a copy of which is accessed by TOI, the width of Pallichal thodu is more than six metres. But, the actual width of the canal is less than two metres. “I had taken up the issue with the corporation as well as revenue department. But, they didn’t do anything to evict the encroachments,” said K A Kunjachan, councillor from Thoppumpady division. “If the width of the canal is increased to at least by four or five metres, waterlogging issue in many places at Thoppumpady division can be addressed to a great extent,” he said.
Over the years, the depth of Pallichal thodu was reduced and so many drains which are connected to the canal are at a lower level compared to the canal. This causes water from the canal flowing back into the drains. “Now, the slope of the drains is more compared to that of the canal. This also adds to the waterlogging issue,” said Sunil Kumar, a resident of Thoppumpady.
In GCDA Colony at Chirackal in Tharebhagam division, water entered more than 120 houses. “Unlike other places, waterlogging is a regular issue in the colony. With the backwaters close by, water from drains and canals wouldn’t run off during high tide. In the past two weeks, water entered our houses on a daily basis,” said Soumi Shafeek, a resident of Chirackal Colony. “The waterlogging issue started after the construction of the Mundamvely-Chirackal Colony Road some 8 or 10 years ago. The road bifurcates the backwaters. Now, the waterbody is able to accommodate less volume of water. So, the water from the lake will flow into the houses situated beside the backwaters,” said Preethi K H, councillor from Tharebhagam.
Resident associations in the area also have come up with the demand for evicting encroachments. “We held an urgent meeting to discuss measures to tackle the waterlogging issue. Encroachments on Pallichal thodu also contribute to the waterlogging in the division. Some 50 years ago, boat race would be conducted in Pallichal thodu,” said Sivadas, secretary, Santhwanam Residents Association, Pallichal, Tharebhagam.