Rehabilitation in Ernakulam dist will be tough: Collector

Kochi: Rehabilitation of thousands of people who lost their livelihood and were rendered homeless in the recent floods in Ernakulam district is going to be a “long-drawn” affair, District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla said here.

Close to 700 houses were fully and about 20,000 homes partially damaged in the fury of the floods in the district, one of the worst hit, after rivers including Periyar and Muvattupuzha violently breached their banks following heavy rains and opening of major dams.

Nearly two lakhs houses were impacted by the floods in the Ernakulam district, which is also the commercial capital of Kerala.

“Rehabilitation process is going to be long drawn. It may be six months or a year. Construction of these houses and rebuilding of the public infrastructure is going to take time. Livelihood may take even longer,” he told PTI here.

K Mohammed Y Safirulla

Safirulla termed as “very serious issue” the loss suffered by the private businesses in many towns and villages particularly in Aluva and North Paravoor taluks in the district in the floods.

He said the district administration has started taking the assessment of the heavy losses they suffered.

“People have lost their shops, they have to rebuild it, they have to rebuild their finances for restarting the livelihood. Livelihood may also take longer. So I think we are in for a long haul… even a year or so. Long term process,” the collector said.

Noting that the agriculture sector of the district also suffered heavily in the floods, Safirulla said, “Entire agriculture have been wiped out in Paravoor Taluk. We again have to do a detailed assessment.”

The district collector said there were 107 relief camps sheltering 75,000 people. “In the district we have close to 8,000 people who are in the cleanliness drive working specifically in North Paravur and Aluva Taluks,” he added.

The clean-up drive has mostly reached its conclusion stage in other three affected taluks, including Kothamangalam, Kunnathunadu and Muvattupuzha.

According to data released this morning by the Disaster Management’s state control room, 474 people have died in the rains and floods in Kerala since 29 May, when the South West Monsoon set over the state.