Demands that Kuttanad be declared calamity-hit and Chief Minister visit region

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan on Friday said a team of Ministers led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy should visit the flood-affected Kuttanad.

Talking to the media after visiting flood-affected areas in Kuttanad, he said the people had expressed anguish over Mr. Chandy or other ministers not visiting the area.

“The government should not only make announcements but also implement them. The government had not cleared the dues of shop owners who had given essential commodities for those in relief camps,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

He demanded that Kuttanad be declared calamity-hit. Free ration should be given to people for two months.

“A total of 1,08,580 people are in the relief camps in the district. This is about half of the population of Kuttanad. The flood here is the worst since 2002. Additional water flow from the eastern side is continuing making it ideal for spread of communicable diseases. The food allowance in camps should be hiked from Rs.30 to Rs.100,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

He said over 5,000 acres of farmland was under water. Though officials put loss to agriculture at Rs.1 crore, the actual loss was much above that.

Mr. Achuthanandan demanded that the Kuttanad Package be implemented rectifying the mistakes in the implementation phase.

CPI(M) district secretary C.B. Chandrababu, leaders P.K. Chandranandan and D.Lakshmanan were with him at the press conference.

Earlier, Mr. Achuthanandan visited Kuttanad on a boat. He went to Kuppupuram Government HS, which houses a relief camp.

He then visited CD Block and R-Block, where people raised many grievances. At R-Block, people in relief camps near the Pulathsserry jetty complained of water entering their houses, non-availability of electricity, gas cylinders and the lack of regular boat services.

He later visited C-Block and Cherukayal.

He then visited Nalpathinchira and Kavalam CMS jetty and Kavalam.

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