Kochi floods: HC area drainage project to begin only after monsoon

Commuters wade through a flooded road amid rains, in Kochi, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Photo: PTI
Commuters wade through a flooded road amid rains, in Kochi, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Photo: PTI

Kochi: Nearly a year after sitting on the files, the Kerala government has accelerated the procedures to implement a drainage project aimed at tackling the waterlogging in the High Court area here amid concerns over frequent flashfloods in the city. The government has, according to sources in the irrigation department, decided to give technical sanction (TS) to the project designed to construct a network of proper drainage and storm water inlets around the high court.

Once the technical sanction is accorded, the tender for the works will be issued. However, the works can be started only when the monsoon rains ease, an irrigation department official said. The decision to give TS was taken by a committee comprising officials of the irrigation department and the State Disaster Management Authority on Tuesday.

The project has been proposed as part of the Operation Breakthrough aimed at tackling urban flooding in the Kochi city. The drainage project is counted as one of the several measures to ease the heavy waterlogging the city has been experiencing every rainy season.

The proposed project costs Rs 4.5 crore. The amount will be released from the state disaster management funds. Administrative sanction was accorded to the project by the District Collector on July 11, 2023.

The project was designed as part of the fourth phase of the Operation Breakthrough. It was proposed based on the finding that the existing roadside drains are of small cross sections and have insufficient bed slopes for draining properly.

The proposed drainage project starts from High Court Gate No. 3 and ends at Mangalavanam canal. The existing drainage is connected to the Market canal. The proposed project is expected to reduce flooding on MG Road also.

The proposal notes that since the drains are of small cross sections there is a delay in the entry of storm water into the drains and proper flow of the water to the main streams is obstructed and causes flooding.

The delay in completion of Operation Breakthrough is cited as one of the reasons for the flashfloods in the city. On Wednesday, Kochi Mayor M Anilkumar said that necessary steps will be initiated to speed up the widening of the Mullassery canal in the city which is being done as part of the Breakthrough project. Officials associated with the Breakthrough project said the difficulty in shifting the Kerala Water Authority's pipeline was delaying the works.

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