ALAPPUZHA: All the residents at Kanakassery paddy polders in Kainakary, one of the worst flood-affected settlements, have returned home after living in the relief camp for nearly a month. Pumping work is going on and the residents face a lot of hurdles in resuming their normal life.
Their life had turned upside down after the outbund on Kanakassery paddy polders breached in early August and water entered almost all the 600 settlements. A second flood hit them in mid-August that destroyed the bund built by the padasekhara samithy.
The bund which secures Kanakassery, Valiyakari and Meenapally paddy polders spanning over 750 acres has been rebuilt after a month-long effort.
Shylaja from Kuttamang-alam, mother of two graduate children, said they were living in their relative’s house while her husband Shibu was in a camp in Thanneermukkom for several weeks. “We retur-ned home a couple of days ago. There is flood water still in our house till basement level. The floor is fully damaged and we have to rebuild it,” she said.
Many families, including hers in the area, have not received the relief of `10,000 announced by the government. “We have produced all documents in the village office. However, no money has been recei-ved,” she added.
Jyothi Shiju of Ettinte-moola, Kuttamagalam, co-ordinator of the camp, said they had two sacks of rice in the house when they went to the camp. It was washed away. “We have set up a gruel centre here since the houses are damaged. The food materials are being provided from the village office,” she said.
The district administration began dewatering aft-er repeated requests from residents as padasekhara samithies delayed the work.
“The administration bro-ught in at least 34 pump sets for dewatering. The breaching of the outer bu-nd of three polders and the delay by the samithies to reconstruct the bunds ha-mpered the work. The department shifted 16 more pumps to Kainakary and they are working across the panchayat,” said Har-an Babu, executive engineer, irrigation department.
The administration has initiated stringent action against the erring samithies. Scaria Mathew, secretary of Kalipurackal samithi, was arrested. The irrigation and agriculture departments had sanctioned money in advance to the samithies to reconstruct the bunds.