Steps sought to alleviate suffering of people due to flooding

The City Corporation and the district administration locked horns over the issue of flooding and lack of adequate measures to tackle it, with a group of ruling party councillors led by V. Sivankutty, MLA, laying siege to the District Collector’s office on Wednesday.

Demands

The siege started by 11.30 a.m., demanding, among other things, the reconstruction of drains and roads destroyed in the floods, replacement of electric posts, payment of compensation for damaged houses, and a solution to the flooding in the city.

“The district administration has not done anything to alleviate the sufferings of the people. The local MP has not even visited the city. Close to 2,000 trees have fallen and most of them are yet to be cleared off the roads. Most of the manholes in the city are overflowing. The Irrigation and Minor Irrigation Department officials are nowhere to be seen. There are not enough spades or tree-cutting machines. The only work they have done is to publish control room numbers,” Mr. Sivankutty said.

In the afternoon, Collector Biju Prabhakar held discussions with Mr. Sivankutty. It was decided to award the initial compensation amount for damaged houses on Thursday.

A meeting will also be convened with the Kerala Water Authority, Kerala State Electricity Board, and Public Works Department officials in two days to discuss ways to tackle the flood situation.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Prabhakar said the awarding of compensation for damaged houses was a lengthy process involving the verifying of photographs and applications of those affected and submission of a report based on this.

Emergency amount

“For now, we are giving an emergency amount of Rs.10,000 for those whose houses were completely destroyed and Rs.5,000 for the partially destroyed. An amount of Rs.37.6 lakh have been allocated for this. This is from the funds for drinking water, which has a surplus, thanks to the unexpected rains. A total of 26 houses have been completely destroyed and 522 partially. Later, after verification of the applications, Rs.1 lakh and Rs.50,000 will be awarded for completely and partially destroyed houses respectively,” Mr. Prabhakar said.

He said 59 trees were found to be in a dangerous condition in a survey and the pruning of branches of these will be done in three days. In the coastal areas, the District Supply Officer has given instructions to distribute free rations to those affected by the rain. This will be based on a list prepared by the Village Officers.