Kochi

Rising from the deluge

Rescue workers evacuate people from a flooded area in Eloor on August 15, 2018.

Rescue workers evacuate people from a flooded area in Eloor on August 15, 2018.  

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Eloor municipality and Kadungalloor panchayat bore the brunt of the mid-August floods in the district. The Eloor-Edayar industrial area is home to around 350 small and and medium-sized industrial units. It is, along with Aluva and Kalamassery, at the heart of the industrial district that is Ernakulam.

Losses in the Eloor-Edayar area is estimated to be around ₹70 crore as floodwaters rose between five and 12 ft at many places. Equipment, products, and raw materials were lost or seriously damaged. Some of the industrial units are still recovering from the impact of the floods even as many complain that even their insurers have left them in the lurch. The Eloor municipality saw several of its primary health centres going under water and a 23-member team from the Army Medical Corps set up a health centre. It was the first such health facility to open a door to recovery in the entire district.

The industrial units have shown great resilience. Industry owners, in a big-hearted gesture, have been helping each other and 2019 is expected to bring them better news with the units on the recovery path.

Hub of power games

Sheela Charu, a rebel Congress party councillor, was elected chairperson of Thrikkakara municipality on December 19 with the support of the Left Democratic Front (LDF). She said she was not happy with the Congress rule of the municipality for about seven months, as it had not focussed on development. She took the place of M.T. Omana, a Congress member, bagging 22 votes against 21 in the 43-member council. Power is balanced finely in the 43 member council. Change of allegiance has kept the situation in a state of flux. Though the LDF had engineered its way into power in December last year, the United Democratic Front succeeded in luring an Independent to clinch power seven months ago.

The New Year may hold more surprises as the municipality has been an arena for power play for a long time.

Will discord linger on?

The struggle for power within the Congress in Kalamassery municipal council was obvious when former chairperson Jessy Peter was forced to step down and Rukhia Jamal, wife of a former municipal chairman Jamal Manakkadan, assumed office in early December.

New pact

Suneela Siby, chairperson of the Maradu municipality, stepped down in early December as part of a power-sharing agreement within the Congress party. A new chairperson will be elected in 2019.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:13:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/rising-from-the-deluge/article25867954.ece

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