Staff Reporter

Health Department to conduct awareness campaign

Special treatment for sunburn victims

Working hours of unorganised sector rescheduled

PALAKKAD: A meeting of senior district-level officials of various departments called by District Collector K.V. Mohankumar at the Collectorate here on Thursday chalked out an action plan to tackle the sufferings, such as sunburn, faced by people from drought and the increasing heat in many parts of the district.

The District Collector said the working hours of unorganised sectors such as agriculture and construction had been regulated and rescheduled as directed by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

Workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) would be given rest from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Their rescheduled working hours were from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There were 92,000 workers under the scheme in the district.

Mr. Mohankumar said the Health Department and the district administration would take up an awareness campaign on sunburn and drought. In all the five taluks, announcements using public address systems would be undertaken to make people aware of these serious problems.

The community and the primary health centres had been instructed to provide special treatment to sunburn victims.

The required medical staff and medicine would be made available to meet the serious situation, District Medical Officer P.R. Karunakaran said.

To meet the drinking water shortage, water would be supplied using tanker lorries in nine villages in Chittur taluk and 12 in Ottappalam.

The meeting decided to renovate tanks and wells to preserve the water sources.

NGO plea

Janajagratha secretary P.S. Panikkar said the district administration should have taken steps earlier since drought was a regular phenomenon in the district. There was no point in renovating ponds and wells after they had dried up.

The check-dams should have been constructed earlier on the Bharathapuzha and other water sources to retain the water table. In Ottappalam and Shoranur areas of the Bharathapuzha, drinking water sources on the river bed were affected. He demanded implementation of a comprehensive action plan on drought mitigation in the district prepared in 2004.