ALAPPUZHA: Thousands of displaced people from deserted Kuttanad have started returning to still flooded homes.
On Sunday, jam-packed boats of State Water Transport Department (SWTD) ferried them from Alappuzha jetty to various places.
But Kuttanad still has no power and telephone connectivity, and its tourism and road transport are badly hit.
The revenue officials let inmates in many shelter camps leave, if they wanted, for their homes abandoned ten days back.
“The village officer told us that interested people could return home,” Kunjachan, 66, of Kavalam told DC.
“There were only four or five families from Kuttanad in the camp at Government L.P. School near Kalarcode. Rest were from Kalarcode staying here just for food. That’s why they wanted us too to go.”
Sony Santhosh of Kavalam was seen sta-nding along with two children on the boat jetty, her left eye narrowed with swelled up eyelids.
She's concerned about the blear in her vision after flood water gushed into the house.
“I don’t know whether my house is still there or if we could live there. If we couldn’t, we will return. We have now-here to go,” she said.
She had lost all valuable records including certificates of her children.
“All is gone,” she said, “and are left with only relief materials.” Houses in most parts remain half-submerged though water started receding.
Finance minister Tho-mas Isaac said Mahara-shtra government was airlifting 50 more 1-million-litre-per-hour cap-acity Kirloskar pumps recently used in Tha-iland to dewater a flooded cave to rescue teen-age footballers.
But the pumping wor-ks would only be possible after rebuilding the breached bunds.
Many buildings are leaning in the water, and small houses in remote places like Kainakary marooned.
Ramachandran, 75, a resident of Kainakary, said he was going to his daughter’s house in Kavalam.
“We could not return any time soon. We don’t know whether our ho-use exists there,” he says.
SWTD director Shaji V. Nair, however, said only 25 per cent of them seen returning to ca-mps....