Back-breaking Kerala mission

floods effects kerala
Bangalore: Fingers crossed, Kerala has taken the first tentative steps towards a long march to normality and what is beginning to look like an arduous rehabilitation challenge thrown by floods that have claimed 370 lives since May-end.
"The rescue mission is in its final stage and we will make sure the last person is moved to safety. Water is receding in most places, although there is isolated rain. But we need to start the next phase of work right now," chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The full extent of the task ahead is still not clear although entire townships are feared to have been reduced to mud pits and an initial government assessment has put the damage at Rs 19,500 crore.
As many as 7.24 lakh people are now accommodated in 5,645 relief camps in the state. Only when they return home can the extent of the devastation be fully assessed.
"So far today (Sunday), 22,034 people have been rescued and 13 deaths reported," the chief minister said. As many as 210 people died in the past 10 days.
Rescue and relief volunteers say, on the basis of what they are beginning to see in some places where water is receding, that many houses have been rendered unliveable. Mud several feet thick has piled in rooms and walls have cracked up, exposing the electrical wiring. With the swirling waters getting soiled with sewage from septic tanks, it is feared that many wells have been contaminated.

T.P. Johnny, a 60-year-old resident of a Kochi suburb on the banks of the Periyar river, returned to his home on Sunday to assess the situation. "The entire house is covered with mud. It will take days to clean to make it liveable. All our household articles, including the TV and the fridge, have been destroyed," he told Reuters.
The preliminary assessment is that Kerala, which always faced a shortage of day labourers, will require thousands of semi-skilled hands adept at repair jobs.
Bengal could be a source of such manpower. Vijayan took care to reassure migrant labourers - the state has 20 lakh such workers, many of them from Bengal.
Vijayan said the government would help the migrant workers who may not be in a position to work immediately after being stranded in the floods. "We will not desert them for sure," he said. "We will restore power supply, repair damaged water pipelines and roads and help rehabilitate all. The work will be carried out on a war footing."
He said the initial estimate for road repairs alone was Rs 441 crore. "We have to repair 221 bridges. Even now, 54 bridges are under water."
The CPM leader thanked the Centre, other states, companies and individuals who had chipped in and volunteered to participate in the rescue and relief effort. "I know everyone would continue to help us," he said.
The government has instructed officials to focus on clearing the debris and garbage carried by the floodwaters to almost everywhere. "Since hygiene is key to preventing contagious diseases, six health inspectors will be posted at each panchayat. As the government does not have so many health inspectors, we will hire the necessary people on contract," Vijayan said.
The leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress, offered "full cooperation" to the state government in the next phase too. "We will certainly have some suggestions for the government but we assure our cooperation to help the people," he told The Telegraph.

loading...

Fingers crossed, Kerala has taken the first tentative steps towards a long march to normality and what is beginning to look like an arduous rehabilitation challenge thrown by floods that have claimed 370 lives since May-end.

Read latest post filed under general news

Post a Comment

We love to hear from you! What's on your mind?

[blogger][facebook]

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.