Preparing for monsoon

A drain which overflows during monsoon at Kutpady in Mangalore. DH photo/Chandrahas Kotekar.

Mangalore city which is experiencing a spurt in construction activities has been facing artificial flooding due to accumulation of rainwater during monsoon for the last few years. Both the Gurupur and the Nethravathi rivers overflow during monsoon, flooding areas on the outskirts of Bantwal and Mangalore taluks. But since the last few years, low-lying areas in the city are also experiencing floods. Reclamation of wetlands, encroachments of estuaries, natural storm water drains and slopes, and cutting off hillock ridges are some of problems being faced by the flood control team of Mangalore City Corporation (MCC).

Mangalore had seen some of the worst cases of landscape alterations in the last few years. Natural storm water drains, including the arterial drains, had been diverted or closed in many areas and the corporation was not able to clear the chocked drains with the help of earth-moving equipment, say corporators.

The low-lying areas in the City like Jeppinamogaru, Kodialbail, Ballalbhagh, Kottara Chowki, Malemar, Kodakkal, parts of Pandeshwar, Attavar, parts of Surathkal get artificial floods with the region receiving heavy rains. The residents are forced to live with fear of flood water entering the houses whenever the region receives rains.

The drain which starts from Pumpwell reach Jeppinamogaru and overflow during monsoon. As a result, the low-laying areas like Ganesh Nagara, Bajehithlu, Jeppinamogaru school, Kadekar gets artificial floods every monsoon. The Corporator says that retaining wall of the drain at Ekkur Urundethota has been repaired. Hence, the severity of the artificial flood is likley to be reduced.

The people of Adamkudru have to struggle to reach the road during monsoon, though Adamkudru is situated few metres away from National Highway.

The citizens use boat to reach the road. The Hosakudru church road gets inundated with slight rains.  The artificial flood in the city has not even spared City Police Commissioner’s house at Kodialbail.

Though Kodialbail and Ballalbagh are situated in the heart of the city, the citizens are not spared from the fury of rain every year. With the overflow of Kodialguthu drain, Bhagavathi Nagara and several houses in Ballalbagh gets inundated.

On the other hand, Kottara Chowki and Malemar are known for artificial flood for the last several years. With the lack of storm water drains, the water gets clogged and enters the shops and houses in the vicinity, feel the citizens. Owing to the incomplete highway work, Kodakkal near Padil too is experiencing artificial floods for the last two years.
A drain near Vaidyanatha Daivasthana in Kodakkal has been filled and narrowed by the highway works, thus preventing the easy flow of the rainwater.

At the same time, Kuloor, Padukodi, Attavar Cantonment ward are also not spared from artificial floods.

MCC acts

Speaking to City Herald, Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Dr K N Vijayaprakash said the MCC is carrying out the work on desilting of 64 major drains in its limits. The major drains are desilted by the engineering section of the MCC. The work on desilting minor drains are being carried out by the health department of the MCC. The vegetation grown on the drains are also being cleared. The work on clearing the drains are being undertaken at the cost of Rs 82 lakh. In fact, the MCC will display a hoarding near the drain giving out complete details on the amount spent, name of the contractor and the engineer who supervised the work.

He said: “There are no drains on either side of the newly laid concrete roads. The MCC is laying temporary drains to facilitate the easy flow of rainwater, to mitigate artificial floods. Development Cell of the Engineering Section has already started the work. National Highway at Kannur, Kottara Chowki, Nanthoor get clogged owing to the lack of stormwater drains. The MCC has already written to the highway authorities to make provision for the easy flow of rainwater on either side of the road, so that artificial floods can be avoided.”

Reflective tapes

Dr Vijayaprakash said reflective tapes will be put on the concrete road which has sharp curves. The officials will identify such vulnerable points and will put the tapes once the region gets rains. Barricades will also be installed at few places, which get artificial floods.

He said the Port department is already taking up the work on dredging the river mouth, so that artificial floods can be mitigated near the river side.

Coordination meet

A coordination meeting of the police, fire service, home guards, Mescom and other coordinating agencies will be convened by the month end, to decide on the rescue operation during the emregcny.

Emergency gang

The Commissioner said under the leadership of Joint Commissioner, an emergency gang will be placed in the MCC to keep a watch on the requirements. The gang will have vehicle, labourers and an engineer.

A task force team will be stationed at the MCC during night as well, to reach out to the people during emergency. With all these preventive measure, will Mangalore city be spared of artificial floods? Lets wait and watch.

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