For­lorn hope reigns in aban­doned Aran­mula

Sunday Express - - TAMIL NADU / SOUTH - AJAY KANTH

A month af­ter the floods, the main road along the Pampa at Aran­mula con­tin­ues to be de­serted. Many peo­ple are yet to re­turn to their houses. A few have aban­doned their houses as the flood­wa­ter dam­aged the foun­da­tion.

Aran­mula was among the worst-af­fected ar­eas in Pathanamthitta where wa­ter from Pampa rose to 16 ft above road level, de­stroy­ing houses and es­tab­lish­ments 3-5 km on ei­ther side of the river.

“We haven’t started liv­ing in our house again,” said Gir­ija S Ku­rup of Kadakkal House. “Though we re­turned home on Au­gust 24, it took a week to re­move mud from the house. We have been com­ing to the house daily and clean­ing it. So far, we have spent `40,000 to clean the house. We can’t use the uten­sils and clothes which got dam­aged in the floods.”

Sreekanth Babu, an Ir­ri­ga­tion De­part­ment over­seer sta­tioned at the ir­ri­ga­tion pump house in Aran­mula, said there are a min­i­mum of 50 un­in­hab­ited houses “The flow of wa­ter was so se­vere the walls of many houses de­vel­oped cracks,” he said. “The houses may look safe out­wards but only a proper struc­tural study will con­firm whether they are safe for liv­ing.”

Edasser­i­mala NSS Karayo­gam sec­re­tary Chan­dran Nair said the peo­ple were strug­gling to find work­ers to do ba­sic re­pairs. “Many so­cial wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tions just pump out wa­ter from the wells. That alone won’t make the wa­ter us­able. We have to shell out `30,000 to clean a well,” Nair said.

Many peo­ple con­tinue to stay in the houses of rel­a­tives. “It will take a min­i­mum of six months for peo­ple to re­turn to nor­mal life,” he said.

BP DEEPU

One of the mud-cov­ered houses and gar­dens in Aran­mula which re­main un­cleaned and un­in­hab­ited by res­i­dents even a month af­ter the del­uge |

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