Rahul promises to resolve problems in flood-hit Wayanad

Wayanad: Continuing his tour of the flood-hit areas in his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday assured those affected by the calamity that he would strive to resolve the various issues plaguing them.

Addressing the people of his constituency, the Congress MP said Wayanad was facing a series of problems, including the ban on night travel, man-animal conflict and lack of sufficient educational facilities. Inaugurating his MP office at Kalpetta, he also said he wanted to bring Wayanad to the world tourism map.

“It will be my commitment to work with you. I want you to consider me as a family member – a brother and son,” he said. On day two of his four-day visit to the constituency, Gandhi was told by local people that there were issues relating to connectivity in various remote areas where roads and bridges had been washed away or destroyed in the floods and landslides. “We will work together to resolve these issues,” he said.

The issues being faced by farmers in Wayanad, the man-animal conflicts were complicated and they cannot be resolved with a magic wand, he said. “My commitment is I will work with you to resolve the issues. Our first priority is compensation to the flood-hit and we must pursue it,” he said.

It was the government’s duty to ensure compensation to those who had lost their near ones and loss of homes and property in the deluge, Gandhi said. He assured the people that Congress workers would put pressure on the government to ensure that all those affected would be compensated.

At the Chaligadha tribal colony in Mananthavady, some people wanted not only compensation, but that their loans written off. They also told Gandhi that wild animals, including elephants, were making their life difficult. Gandhi visited various relief centres at Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery.

The Congress leader was caught off guard when a man came running to him as he got into his vehicle after visiting a camp, shook his hand and planted a kiss on his cheek. On 29 and 30 August, the MP would be visiting relief camps in Kozhikode and Malappuram assembly segments, forming part of the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.

Gandhi was here early this month after heavy rains and floods had triggered a series of landslides and caused havoc in the northern districts of Wayanad and Malappuram. At least 125 people have lost their lives in the heavy rains and landslides. While 60 people have died in Malappuram, 14 have lost their lives in rain related incidents in neighbouring Wayanad district.