An island where people spend more on transport than on food
Kochi: Chariyamthuruthu is an island which is 12 kilometres away from Kochi. Though nearest to the metro city, transport is very expensive for the natives here.
These islanders have been taking a risky ride on a small boat for years. They need to take a boat even to get medical care in the town. They have been waiting for a bridge here as an ultimate solution to their problems.
“We are struggling here without any facilities. A charge of Rs 700 should be paid to autorickshaw to reach the nearest hospital. If there is an emergency, we cannot reach the hospital immediately,” says Cicily, a 90-year-old woman at Chariyamthuruthu.
Over 1200 people are living in the island called Chariyamthuruthu. The people are forced to commute in boat for years. But the authorities are neglecting their woes without taking any action to arrange a transport system.
The natives, including school students, are having a risky ride on boats without proper safety measures.
“The river is too deep in some areas and sometimes I find it difficult to manage the oar while riding the boat,” says the boatman Padan Devassykutty.
The government officials prepared an estimate to construct a bridge here before 15 years. But they have not executed it yet.
A small boat is the only option for transport in Chariyamthuruthu. The natives here are forced to either depend on this boat or take a bus from the nearest island called Thundathumkadavu, which is 3 km away from here.
Though the panchayat operated a ferry service between Chennur and Chariyamthuruthu, it was disrupted due to economic loss.
Chariyamthuruthu was popular as the rice bowl of Kadamakudy panchayat after having large scale of paddy cultivation. But the destruction of paddy fields made the natives to travel to city in search of livelihood.
Coolie workers in the island are spending a large part of their income for their travel expense only. But they are not able to reach their destination on time. A bridge is the only solution to the problems faced by the natives here.