With the flood situation improving in Kerala, the focus is now not only on rehabilitating the people but also on reconstruction, Chief Minister Pinarayii Vijayan said. Addressing the media after visiting some of the relief camps, he said that the people have started going back to their homes.
There were 12,10,453 people housed in relief camps as on Wednesday, which had come down to 10,40,688 on Thursday. The number of relief camps as on Wednesday was 3,314, and were down to 2,774 on Thursday. The number of families in relief camps on Wednesday was 3,27,280 while on Thursday they stood at 2,78,781.
The challenge is to make the houses liveable. Household articles in most of the houses are not usable, for people to start their life again. The government is holding discussions with banks to provide a loan of Rs one lakh each for these families to buy household goods. The loan will be given to the female head of the family and the interest will be borne by the government.
â€śWhen I visited the camp, many people pointed out the need of a kit with necessary items, when they go back home. The government will provide a kit, with five kilos of rice and other materials to the families who are going back to houses from relief camps.
Shifting of relief camps
Relief camps are mostly functioning in schools and colleges. After Onam holidays, classes need to be resumed. For this, inmates will be shifted from the camps there, to halls or auditoriums. District collectors have been given directions to find out places. People living in the disaster prone area will be rehabilitated to other places after consultations and after arriving at a consensus.
â€śSteps are being taken to restore power connection in the flood-hit area. Of the 50 sub stations, which were damaged in the floods, 41 have resumed functioning. Of the 16,158 transformers affected, 13,477 have been recharged and of the 25.6 lakh service connections which were disrupted, 21.61 lakh connections have been restored.
The sanitation drive is also on. As many as 37,626 wells and 60,593 houses have been cleaned till Thursday. Another challenge is the burial of animal carcasses, the army has been engaged in that task also. The engineering wing of local bodies is doing the safety check of houses.
Unity and harmony
The CM stressed on the unity of people and reiterated that if people stay united, the state could survive the deluge. â€śWe shouldnâ€™t focus on baseless allegations and weaken the mission of rebuilding the state,â€ť he said.
The CM however didnâ€™t directly respond to Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithalaâ€™s allegations about the government lapses in giving proper warning to the people before the damshutters were opened. Instead, he stressed that it was peopleâ€™s unity, their comradeship which is exemplary and enabled the stateto survive the crisis.