Kerala govt to implement second phase of Kuttanad package

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government today decided to implement the second phase of the Kuttanad wetland ecosystem development package in the wake of largescale damage to crops and property in recent floods in the area.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting here, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said it has decided to approach the Centre for implementing schemes under the package.

The Chief secretary has been asked to work out the details of the package, Vijayan said adding Kuttanad in Alappuzha district was the worst affected in the recent floods. Alappuzha and Kottayam districts have already been declared flood-hit, he pointed out.

Necessary directives have also been given to health officials to take necessary precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of any disease, Vijayan said.

Vijayan also called for voluntary organisations and workers to participate in the flood relief works in Alappuzha district. Besides causing loss to property and agriculture, the recent floods following the monsoon fury have claimed more than 130 lives.

A central team is scheduled to arrive in Kerala on August 7 to assess the extent of damage and losses incurred in the state.

Noting that there was a need to design a ‘Comprehensive Flood Forecasting System,’ the Chief Minister said State Disaster Management Authority has been asked to conduct a study in this regard and submit a report.

Meanwhile, rain lashed some parts of the state especially Wayanad and Kannur districts today. Land slips were also reported from Chadanapara area in Kannur district. Some of the low-lying areas in Wayanad have submerged. The water inflow to Idukki reservoir also increased and water level stood at 2396.86 ft.Full level of the reservoir is 2403 ft.

Kerala State Electricity Board issued a red-alert and informed that the shutter gates of Idamalayar dam in Ernakulam district would be opened tomorrowmorning and 164 Cumecs(a cubic meter per second) water would be released. This is expected to raise the present water level of River Periyar by 1-1.5 meter.

The water released may reach Aluvaregion in Ernakulam in 5-6 hours, it was said. Authorities asked people living on river banks to be vigilant.