KOCHI: People’s representatives’ teams led by ministers should be deployed in major harbours and landing stations in the district to coordinate rescue and relief operations, said Prof. K.V Thomas MP. Entrusting rescue and relief measures to bureaucrats would create dissatisfaction and tension among the people, he observed. “As many as 115 fishing boats have gone to sea during the days just before Ockhi hit the Kerala coast. Only four vessels have returned safely though the fishermen suffered huge losses as fishing nets, navigation system and other equipment were lost,” he said.
While intensifying the search operations, the government should include representatives of fishermen and residents of coastal areas in the rescue team. Immediate steps should be taken to construct the damage in the seawall in different areas along the coast, said Prof. Thomas. He also stressed the need to chalk out an immediate action plan to tackle the health dangers posed by flooding. “Immediate steps have to be taken to remove the slush, debris and other contaminants from houses. Or else, coastal area will witness the outbreak of infectious diseases.” Prof. Thomas also asked the Union government to declare Ockhi as a national disaster and take necessary relief measures.