Nation Current Affairs 15 Aug 2019 Survivors languish i ...

Survivors languish in camps amid half-baked rehab plans

Published Aug 15, 2019, 2:05 am IST
Updated Aug 15, 2019, 2:05 am IST
Yet another spell of floods has shaken the State to its roots in a tragic throwback to the worst floods of 2018.
Rescue efforts go on in Kuttanad in Alappuzha
 Rescue efforts go on in Kuttanad in Alappuzha

Alappuzha: Alappuzha,  which experienced unprecedented floods at this time last year,  is yet to come out of the trauma though the government initiated many schemes like Rebuild Kerala to rehabilitate the victims.  Many  projects are halfway with several victims languishing in  relief camps and a number of them yet to get any compensation.

Kuttanad has again been battered by floods and  at least 20, 000 people in the district are living  in 101 relief camps. The kids have lost their study materials, schools are shut   and over 800 hectares of  paddy crops has  been lost.


Going  by the past experience, the victims  are not hopeful of getting any substantial aid from the government. .

Manju Panchaman  has been  living in the government homoeo clinic at Pandanad West in Chengannur,  one of the worst flood-hit areas last year,   for the last one year. The government had promised her  three cents of land as  her house was washed away by the flood.  She trusted the words of the local legislator, district collector and panchayat officials.  But  the officials have failed to find out three cents of land for her and  she continues to live on  the rooftop  with her two sons,  husband and the aged mother-in-law.

As of now,  eight members, including children from two families,  stay there.  "We have nowhere to go and we are homeless for the last one year. Whatever happens  now we are not concerned,"  said  Aji, 51,  an inmate.

Sabu, 36, and  his mother Maniyamma  of  Othente Kunnel colony  knocked on the  doors of panchayat and taluk offices to get her name listed in the Rebuild project, but in vain.  Her neighbour got Rs 2 lakh for maintenance.  The officers told her that  there was a mix-up in entering the bank account numbers of a group of people,  including her,  in the area. She was also told that her name was  likely to be included in the next list.    The  rain  now has made it impossible for her to stay in the damaged house.  

C.K.  Maniyan  of  Kanakassery in  Kainakary panchayat  says the bund breach has  submerged his house which was damaged in the floods last year.   He got  Rs 60,000 as compensation  under the rebuild scheme.

Kuttanad will suffer if  bunds are not strengthened with piles and slabs, he says.  The unnecessary expenses  every year could have been avoided by strengthening them.  The government had allocated Rs 1000 crore  for  Kuttanad,  but nothing has been spent here so far, he says . Ambika, 38, Palliparambil,  Pandanad,   has received  no   assistance  under Rebuild Kerala. This year also her house was  damaged. She had erected a structure in place of the old house  and  was staying there  with her two sons and husband.  

Shobana, 61, of Palliparambil is scared of living  in  her  house, which may collapse any time.  She applied thrice and submitted documents for compensation,  but they were rejected.     

As per the data available with the district administration,  Rs 380.26 crore  was  distributed to the beneficiaries whose houses suffered damage between  15 and 74 percent.  Maintenance fund was  distributed to 88, 140 houses out of a total of 1,00,547 listed houses. Of 2,516 fully damaged houses, 837 were rebuilt. As many as 30,472 registered applicants  have been paid Rs 10,000 each, including them in the category of 15 percent damage. In the 16-29 percent damage category, 18,609 beneficiaries were paid while most of the 9,252 beneficiaries registered in the 30-59 -category got benefits. Compensation was also given  to the  60-74 percent damaged category.