Decision follows heavy rain lashing district over the past two weeks

District Collector K.N. Satheesh has declared holidays on Monday and Tuesday for all government, aided and unaided schools up to the higher secondary level in the district. This was in view of the heavy rain lashing the district over the past two weeks.

Earlier, calling for long-term measures to be put in place to tackle natural calamities including sea erosion on the district’s coastline, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar issued directions to the district administration to identify land for a permanent relief camp for coastal residents.

Addressing a meeting held to review the monsoon damage in the district here on Sunday, Mr. Sivakumar said discussions would be held with the Water Resource Minister on sea walls and breakwater structures from Vettukadu to Panathura in the Thiruvananthapuram taluk and in the Thazhampally, Poonthura areas of Chirayinkeezhu taluk.

The Minister, who asked authorities to ensure adequate number of pump-sets to tackle inundation in low-lying areas, also asked for steps to be taken to see that compensation and financial assistance to beneficiaries were given without delay, including to those whose payments were pending. He also asked for estimates for works to clear about 15 drains in the city that were clogged.

As for the monsoon damage in the district so far, officials said five lives were lost, while 43 houses were completely damaged. Partial damage was recorded for 1,670 houses while agricultural damage was pegged at a loss of Rs.2.76 crore. Kin of those who had lost their lives would be given ex gratia to the tune of Rs.2 lakh while those who lost their houses completely would get Rs.1 lakh and those whose houses were partially damaged would get Rs.35,000 each.

Officials said there were five relief camps set up in the district. These were at the Valiyathura Fisheries School, the Valiyathura UP School, the Shanguvattam LP School, the Anchuthengu St. Joseph’s School and the Vilabhagam School. Medical teams and health workers led by health inspectors were engaged in daily medical examinations and disease prevention activities in these camps, officials said.

Mr. Sivakumar, who said fishing workers and coir workers in the district would be given free rations this week, said the issue of extending free rations to about 5,000 traditional bamboo workers would be taken up with the government.

Koliakode Krishnan Nair, Palode Ravi, V. Sivankutty, R. Selvaraj, Jameela Prakasham and V. Sasi, MLAs, and other senior officials were present.