Shelters for evacuees have few takers


Most residents choose to go with friends and relatives

It was a family gathering of sorts at the house of Sahadevan Nedumpilly, a resident near Alfa Serene, on Saturday morning.

Only, it was not planned but in a way forced up on the extended family by the demolition of the apartment.

At the designated hour of temporary evacuation ahead of the demolition, Sahadevan’s four brothers and their families who lived within the exclusion zone of the demolition site moved into his house, which was outside of it.

There were many such families who chose to either move in with their friends and relatives rather than choosing to go to the temporary shelters opened by the authorities at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) at Nettoor, over a kilometre away on the national highway, and at Sacred Heart College, Thevara, for evacuees from the exclusion zone of Alfa Serene and H2O Holy Faith.

“They were reluctant to move out for a short span of time lasting about three hours. So, a majority of residents near Alfa Serene chose to move to their ancestral homes or with relatives outside the exclusion zone. None moved to the shelter at KUFOS, while a mere 20 people from near Holy Faith were shifted to Sacred Heart College,” said P.H. Nadeera, Maradu Municipal Chairperson.

District Collector S. Suhas said there was no compulsion on residents to move into the shelters. “There were no restrictions outside the exclusion zone of 200 metres as long as there were no law and order issues. Majority of them stayed back to witness the demolition and opted for vantage points rather than shelters, which were some distance away,” he added.

Besides, people did not want to move far away from their homes, many of which had already developed cracks during pre-demolition work, and hung around in the immediate neighbourhood to return home at the earliest once access restrictions were lifted.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:03:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/shelters-for-evacuees-have-few-takers/article30546949.ece

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