Doubts raised over facilities at rain relief camps

A meeting of legislators and district administration officials, chaired by Social Welfare Minister M.K. Muneer on Sunday, accounted a loss of Rs.9.43 crore due to monsoon calamities in the district. The loss, calculated between June 1 and 20, includes damage caused by floods and sea attacks to housing, agriculture, animal husbandry, roads, and bridges. It also lists ex-gratia payments to families of victims, treatment of injuries, evacuation works, supply of medicines, repair to damaged water supplies and miscellaneous expenses.

District Collector C.A. Latha said that 386 houses had been destroyed partially and nine completely. Two deaths, one of a child, had been reported. Agricultural losses had been computed at Rs. 2 crore, repairs to roads and bridges would cost Rs.4 crore, and renovation of houses would require another Rs.2.5 crore.

Dr. Muneer drew attention to a government order dated June 21, announcing Rs.1 lakh for those whose houses had been destroyed. Owners of partially damaged houses would get Rs.35,000. It said that victims, including fishermen, coir workers and Adivasis, would get a lump-sum grant of Rs.2,000 and free ration for two weeks.

E.K. Vijayan, Nadapuram MLA, questioned the effectiveness of relief camps set up by the authorities. Three relief camps had been opened in Vengeri, Nadapuram and one in the city. “Not many opt for these camps because of the lack of basic facilities there. They prefer to go to their relatives,” Mr. Vijayan said.

“Authorities have to prevent people from returning to their partially submerged houses. About 60 houses in my constituency are partially buried under 3 metres to 5 metres of mud. The well water in these places is more dangerous than the water outside,” he said.

The legislators said that most of the district and grama panchayat roads had been destroyed and panchayats like Kavilumpara, Maruthonkara, and Vanimel faced imminent danger of floods.

C. Moyinkutty, Thiruvambady MLA, talked about the landslip in Pulloorampara, which killed eight persons. He asked the district administration as to what precautions had been taken to protect the livelihood of settler-farmer community in his constituency.

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