Govt. will resettle people living in disaster-prone areas: CM

A view of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki reservoir on Wednesday night. The water level in the Idukki dam fell to 2,398.02 ft at 6 p.m. since three shutters have remained open from 11 a.m. on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the Government will resettle people living in natural disaster-prone localities in the State.

Climate risk mitigation topped the Government’s agenda. Kerala could ill afford to lose lives to extreme weather every rainy season. People were loath to leave their land and resettle elsewhere.

The Government faced the hard choice of persuading them to put their roots down in safer localities. The administration would provide them modern housing and ensure their rehabilitation.

Mr. Vijayan, at a press briefing here on Wednesday, dispelled the criticism that the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) weather warning for Kerala was inaccurate. The IMD works with the scientific tools at its disposal. It had some limitations. It could not, for instance, predict how much rain would fall in a specific area.

“It is not as if the agency has deliberately misled the government. There is always a margin of error in any micro-level weather model,” Mr. Vijayan said.

On Tuesday, Revenue Minister K. Rajan’s had said the IMD had predicted moderate weather (green alert) in Kottayam on October 17. However, heavy rain, mud slip and floods had ravaged the district.

Mr. Vijayan also rebutted Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan’s criticism that nothing had come of his high-profile visit to the Netherlands to study flood mitigation. Left fellow traveller Cheriyan Philip had also echoed a similar sentiment.

Mr. Vijayan said cleaning up choked rivers and restoring water flow could not be solved at a stroke. The Government would achieve the target incrementally. "Room for the River" had already become a people's campaign, he said.

When pressed about Mr. Philip’s criticism of the government flood response, Mr. Vijayan said: “Mr. Cheriyan had left the Congress and cooperated with the CPI(M). We had given due accommodation. I do not know the cause for his current anxiety,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan said Mr. Satheesan’s portrayal of the KSDMA as a "disaster in itself" had no factual backing.

Mr. Vijayan said Public Works Minister Mohamed Riyaz had merely echoed the party line when he told MLAs should not meet Ministers in the company of contractors. He had taken a similar stance when he was Power Minister in 1996. The Chief Minister declared a moratorium on loan recovery till December 31, given the economic downturn.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 5:25:52 AM |

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