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25 May 2024, Edition - 3238, Saturday

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Deluge of November 4, 1978 recalled



Concern over neglect of Kodappamund Channel

Udhagamandalam: Still fresh in the memory of some, the horror of November 4,1978 was recalled in conversations in different parts of this hill station on Friday.

It was on this day 38 years ago that some parts of this hilly district particularly Ooty and its surroundings experienced an unprecedented natural calamity in the form of a flood which claimed scores of lives.

A survey conducted soon after by the district authorities had revealed that a waterway made narrow by encroachments was one of the main reasons for various parts of Ooty getting flooded.

A couple of years later it was widened and converted into a concrete channel by the Public Works Department with the objective of preventing flooding of low lying areas by facilitating free flow of storm water.

Though initially the facility named “Kodappamund Channel” served its purpose, for the past several years it has been a source of concern particularly during the wet seasons.

Adding to the woes of the town it has become an eye sore and a health threat.

Lamenting that though crores of rupees have been spent over the years on desilting the channel its condition has not improved,the President,Public Awareness Association of Udhagamandalam G.Janardhanan told Covai Post that the organization has been repeatedly drawing the attention of the authorities concerned to its appalling condition.

“We have been underscoring the need to survey the areas through which the channel has been constructed to identify encroachments but the civic authorities are yet to respond” , he alleged.

He added that the officials were attributing its condition to lack of resources and poor civic sense among both the local people and tourists.They regret that it was one of the most misused civic amenities in this hill station.

Pointing out that after the deluge of November 1978 , different parts of the Nilgiris have experienced major floods which took a heavy toll on human lives and property,a social activist opined that details pertaining to them should be displayed in important places as they would serve as a warning not only to the local people but also tourists. In addition it will help in observing the anniversaries.

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