THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ahead of rolling out the second phase of the flood mitigation drive 'Operation Anantha,' a meeting of the high-level committee appointed to evaluate Phase I will be held here on Tuesday. The new district collector S Venkatesapathi has instructed the high-level committee to submit its report promptly for which a comprehensive review of the first phase was essential. Tuesday's meeting will beheld at the office of the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) at 10 am. After the high-level committee submits its recommendations to the District Collector, they will be handed over to the Chief Secretary.
KRFB, which was the nodal agency for the Thiruvananthapuram City Road Improvement project, was also the nodal agency for Operation Anantha. Technical assessment of works undertaken by various government agencies, review of designs and expenses are the responbility of the nodal agency. Operation Anantha was launched in April 2015 chiefly aimed at flood mitigation in East Fort and Thampanoor, two crowded regions of the capital city which are inundated during the rainy season.
By March this year, Phase I was completed successfully clearing clogged drains covering a 30-km stretch. The project had also hit controversy after a move to demolish a building owned by hotelier and bar owner Biju Ramesh reached the court. Reportedly, the centre also had evinced an interest in replicating the project in other parts of the country. For the implementation of Phase II, the district collector will be able to sanction works that cost up to Rs 25 lakh. Beyond that, the cost has to be cleared by the State Disaster Management Authority.
The district collector has cautioned officers that careful scrutiny of each work should be conducted before moving forward.