The state’s first cyclone shelter to provide a safe and secure space for people during natural calamities has been set up in Mararikkulam, Alappuzha.
Regions along the Kerala coastline have witnessed a high number of cyclonic storms in recent years, which bring heavy rains, coastal erosion and waterlogging. The cyclone shelter will provide relief to those living in hamlets along the coast.
The shelter is housed in a three-story building that was recently constructed under an initiative of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), with the financial assistance from the World Bank. Though other cyclone shelters are currently under construction in various other districts, the Mararikkulam shelter will become the first functional one as it opens to the public in December.
Construction is reportedly underway at three centres in various parts of Alappuzha district alone. According to officials, 23 such cyclone shelters by the KSDMA are under construction in various regions in the state.
“More than one thousand people can stay at a time in this cyclone shelter. There are big halls, a kitchen and toilets inside the shelter. Ramps for ease of access for differently abled persons are also provided,” said Mararikkulam panchayat president D Priyesh Kumar.
The facility was constructed at a cost of Rs 3.53 crores. The officials of the panchayat have also planned to use the building for alternative purposes when it is not being used as a cyclone shelter. Kudumbashree workers of the panchayat have been given charge of maintaining the facility.
A special committee of panchayat officials, a village officer, police and irrigation officials has been appointed to review the functioning of the centre.