Kochi: While most relief centres in flood-hit areas have been closed down with residents returning to their houses, the remnants leftover by the deluge, mostly damaged houses and fallen banana plants, in Kunnukara panchayat of Paravur taluk in Ernakulam district tell a completely different story.
The panchayat, that includes North Kuthiathodu where six people died in flood-related mishap, is among the worst-hit with close to 200 houses out of the total 6800 now rendered not fit for residence in the aftermath of the devastating flood.
“While a few houses have been completely washed out, close to 200 cannot be used again with the foundation and structures getting serious damage. Nearly 50 families are still being housed at Kunnukara panchayat office as they have nowhere to go even as several others, who have lost houses, have moved on to houses of their relatives or friends,” said Francis Tharayil, panchayat president.
Though water and electricity supply have been partially restored, almost all houses are filled with slush and have no utensils left for cooking. As per the panchayat officials, not even a single house in Cheriyatekanam (ward 13) escaped the flood fury.
“My 10-year old house collapsed and sank into earth due to strong current of one of the branches of Periyar," said 54-year old Karthikeyan, an inland water fisherman whose house got completely damaged. "There is virtually nothing remaining at the place where the concrete house had stood. I don't know what to do now with my three children and wife. We're running from one camp to another as we had nowhere to go."
The once beautiful village, famous for banana and vegetable cultivation, has now turned into brown patches of barren land. “We were waiting for Onam season for the harvesting but the floods have dashed all our dreams and pushed us into a state of despair. I’ve taken a loan of Rs one lakh for banana cultivation. There were close to 600 banana plants and now nothing remains,” rued C.K. Kumaran of Chalakyaparambu, a farmer. He too resides in the camp like M.K. Babu, a Mattapram-native, Omal Mani of Ammanattupadam, Sujesh of Kattanarupallam, Devaki of Vettanath and Ramesh of Manakapallam among others who lost their houses in the deluge.