Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition walked out of the Assembly on Wednesday during the adjournment motion protesting against the delay in flood relief for the affected and the failure of the government to specify a deadline.
The only answer Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan could give during the three-and-a-half-hour discussion was "if your concerns were genuine, I can assure you that it will be addressed."
Though the Opposition wanted the government to provide a specific time schedule, the chief minister did not yield. Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan said that the chief minister responded positively.
However, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala responded that three months had passed since the floods and that the affected should know when they will get the compensation. "It cannot go on indefinitely," he said.
There were heated exchanges between the parties before the walkout.
Mr V.D. Satheesan, who presented the adjournment motion, said that at least 20 percent of the flood-affected people did not receive the grant of Rs 10,000.
He also accused the government of spending only Rs 4,385 crore of the money mobilised for flood relief till December 4. The amount spent was only Rs 592 crore.
He alleged that the government did not have proper statistics of the affected.
The data was collected by engineering students and not experts. This was when the state government has many departments with staff ranging from superintending engineers to overseers, said Mr Satheesan.
Though a moratorium was imposed on the loan recovery for flood victims, banks were going ahead with attachment procedures, he said.
The chief minister said that as of November 23, Rs 2733.70 crore had been received to the chief minister's relief fund.
Of this, Rs 488.60 crore was through the salary challenge. A total of 59.5 percent of the employees have joined the salary challenge, the chief minister said....