Flood management plan for Malabar remains on paper

The landslip at Karinchola on June 14 last year claimed 14 lives.

The landslip at Karinchola on June 14 last year claimed 14 lives.   | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP

State govt. yet to approve report prepared by expert group

An action plan drawn up for Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts after the massive floods last year continues to remain on paper even as the southwest monsoon is pounding the Malabar region.

The comprehensive study, ‘Rebuild Malabar: Post-Disaster Assessment of Great Floods of 2018’, was undertaken by the Indian Institute of Architects, Calicut chapter, in association with the District Town and Country Planning Office and the National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C). More than 5,000 people from the Licensed Engineers and Supervisors Federation, Registered Engineers and Supervisors Federation, National Service Scheme, and several non-governmental organisations volunteered to collect data and survey the affected areas to study the reasons for the calamity and suggest steps to prevent flooding in the future.

P.P. Vivek, coordinator of Rebuild Malabar Initiative, told The Hindu on Monday that the study had been conducted based on the guidelines of the United Nations Post-Disaster Needs Assessment.

“No agency has so far done a comprehensive flooding and vulnerability mapping for Malabar. Only these reports have looked into the causes of the calamity in each district. But the government has not recognised the reports for further action,” he said.

Mr. Vivek added that the Town Planning Department could carry out development activities based on the zoning of a region mentioned in the report. Some suggestions include incorporating no-development zones into strategies on land use. This apart, from the existing ecologically-sensitive and coastal regulation zones. “Previously, the State government had tasked the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management to prepare a report for north Kerala. But no report has been made public,” Mr. Vivek said, adding that efforts by the government to rehabilitate flood-victims was appreciable.

In Kozhikode district, when the calamity and its effects were at their peak, 41,565 affected persons were relocated in 297 relief camps in various parts of the district. Thirty-four lives were lost in the rain calamity. The landslip at Karinchola on June 14 was a devastating incident in the district in which 14 lives were lost.

In Malappuram district, the taluks of Tirurangadi and Tirur were the worst affected owing to the presence of major rivers such as Bharatapuzha passing through them. Besides, their low-lying topography also added to the intensity of the calamity. Nearly 55,413 affected people had to be shifted to 237 camps in the district.

In Chaliyar grama panchayat, six people were killed in a landslip in Chetiyanpara colony.

In Wayanad district, the unrelenting rain had forced the authorities to further increase the opened shutters of both Banasura and Karappuzha dams which caused further flooding in the district.

A total of 247 landslips occurred in Wayanad. Thirunelli, Mananthavady, Thavinjal, Vellamunda, Panamaram, Kottathara, Kalpetta, and Pozhuthana were the most affected.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:32:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/flood-management-plan-for-malabar-remains-on-paper/article28667382.ece

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