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