KOTTAYAM: Due to widespread damages to properties in last month’s floods and landslides, banks in Idukki district are in crisis. People had taken advances from these banks pledging these properties, and that makes recovery of loans difficult.
The loanees are also in a dilemma after the floods washed away their livelihood. Most of them were cultivating multiple crops, now lost in the deluge. Idukki District Cooperative Bank has 50 such damaged collateral securities with its Adimaly branch alone.
“The situation is the same with most of our branches,” P.R. Rajesh, its general manager, told DC. "Since most of the places are inaccessible now, we are not even getting to know the ground scenario. The damages are severe.”
The bank is now trying to recover its money by lending small capital to help them get back to their farming activities all over again. “There are large-scale livelihood issues. Our immediate priority is to revive them,” he said.
N. Rajagopal, manager of the lead district bank, Union Bank of India, says that they too are confronting a similar crisis. “The properties have lost their value. Since the road connectivity remains severed in many parts, we could not assess its magnitude,” he told DC.
According to Romeo Sebastian, the district secretary of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies Association, Idukki has lost thousands of acres of crops.
“They include cardamom pepper and cocoa. In this context, the farmers are not able to repay the loans.
We need interest-free loans to revive the sector,” he said. According to the 2011 census, 95.6 per cent of the population here sustains on the district’s agrarian economy. The Idukki district administration has estimated 1,535 houses destroyed, 3061 damaged and 11,530.64 hectares of crops lost since May 29.