Flood relief: More materials arrive at Cochin port

Kochi: The Cochin Port Trust has earmarked two godowns for free storage of relief materials, arriving from across the country, for people affected by the unprecedented floods in Kerala, a port trust official said.

The first truck carrying relief materials, mobilised by all major ports under the Union Shipping Ministry, was dispatched through the VOC Port Trust in Tuticorin and will be arriving at the port here today, he said.

Four containers of relief materials sent by the shipping fraternity from Tuticorin under the initiative of the ministry was delivered for distribution yesterday, the official said.

The coastal crude vessel Swarna Godavari, with 50,000 MT of crude from Mumbai, was diverted by BPCL to the Cochin Port to meet the fuel demand of Kerala. It arrived yesterday, he said.

More relief materials from different parts of India have started arriving at the Cochin port through coastal shipping.

Naval Ship INS Deepak carrying relief materials from Mumbai had arrived at the Cochin port on Sunday with about 800 tonnes of fresh water and about 18 tonnes of provisions.

This ship will make another call at the port with relief materials tomorrow, the official said.

Incessant rains over the last few days have blurred the distinction between Kerala’s backwaters and roads with sheets of water covering the landscape, but the state is facing shortage of potable water.

The Cochin Port Trust has earmarked two berths for priority berthing of vessels bringing flood relief materials to Kerala.

Two godowns have also been earmarked for storage of relief materials and medicines free of charges, he said.

The official said the Transworld Group has offered special coastal services of ships connecting ports at Hazira, Mundra, Kattupalli, Tuticorin, Pipavav, Kandla with Cochin for carrying flood relief materials from different parts of India.

The relief centre set up by the Cochin port at the Sir Robert Bristow Memorial School, Willingdon Island, houses at least 15 people from the flood affected Koonamavu area, 11 from Kothad, five from Alleppey and 19 from different areas near Cochin; in total, 50 people, he said.

Doctors from the port trust hospital examined the inmates of the centre and medicines were provided. Volunteer teams comprising staff of the Cochin Port, Customs, CISF and medical team from Cochin Port Trust Hospital are assisting the camp and extending necessary support.

Their family members are also volunteering. Earlier, the Cochin Port Trust had decided to contribute Rs 62 lakhs comprising Rs 31 lakh from employees’ one day salary and Rs 31 lakh from Cochin Port Trust fund to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Apart from this, the employees of Cochin Port Trust have also contributed Rs 65,000 (which they had collected for their Onam celebrations) for the relief work, he added.