KERALA

An end to the uncertainty

With their huts perilously close to the sea, life has been unpredictable for the thousands of fishing families along the city’s coastline.

Every monsoon, as the waves came crashing in to their huts, they hold on to all their belongings and run to the nearest rehabilitation camp, most often a government school.

Political leaders of the day would soon come visiting in their camps and promise them of a ‘permanent solution,’ something which remained a promise during the succeeding monsoons.

It had almost become a routine that three years back, a few families who were shifted to a rehabilitation camp in the Government Fisheries Technical Higher Secondary School, Valiyathura, decided not to go back to their huts.

For them, and hundreds of others, who are still caught in the routine of shifting and returning with every instance of sea erosion, Wednesday provided something of a ray of hope.

On Wednesday, the State government finally inaugurated the construction of flats to rehabilitate fishing families living along the coastline. As part of the project, a total of 160 houses across eight blocks will be built at the Government’s land in Muttathara. Each of the houses will have one hall, two bedrooms, one kitchen and one toilet.

The flat complexes will have a common library, drainage system, hi-mast lights and other facilities. The construction of the flats are expected to be completed within a year. The first allocation will be for the 18 families now living in the Valiyathura school. The next preference will be for the families living in the first two rows of huts near the sea.

The rehabilitation would come as a relief for the school authorities in the area too. The schools in the area, which were turning into rehabilitation centres for those affected by sea erosion, have been in recent years witnessing a fall in the enrolment of new students, despite 100 per cent results in the SSLC examinations.

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