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Central team assesses rain damage

The district has so far received 18.97% excess rain during this year.

This emerged during a comprehensive presentation made by District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla on the losses suffered by the district owing to heavy rain before a Central team visiting to take stock of rain damage in the State here on Wednesday.

The team consists of B.K. Srivastava, Director of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Ministry; Narsi Ram Meena, Deputy Director of Power Ministry; and V.V. Shastri, Regional Office of Transportation Ministry. After the presentation at a private resort at Nedumbassery, the team visited rain-battered Kunnukara and Chellanam areas.

The Collector in his report said that the district administration ran 78 relief camps accommodating 7,557 members of 1,889 families. Around Rs. 71 lakh was distributed as immediate relief to the affected.

Fort Kochi Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) S. Shajahan said that camps were operated for 10 and 20 days respectively at Chellanam and Paravur. Sixteen camps had to be operated in Muvattupuzha region, said Muvattupuzha RDO M.T. Anilkumar. Altogether 1,155 kilometres of roads — 920 kilometres in Ernakulam region and 236 kilometres in Muvattupuzha — were damaged in the district. In Ernakulam region, 920 kilometre-long road was damaged.

The meeting also discussed post-rain sanitation works to prevent the outbreak of epidemics.

A delegation led by V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, MLA, received the Central team at Kunnukara. The team inspected the loss of agriculture crops and damaged power infrastructure before proceeding to visit the homes at Chellanam panchayat hit badly by sea erosion.

They visited the worst hit areas of Maruvakkad Bazar, Companyppadi, and Uppathathodu Canal. Local residents demanded Central aid for the immediate construction of seawalls and groynes. Seawalls remain completely damaged at five places along a stretch of 1.80 kilometres out of the total 20 kilometres.

The team held discussions with West Kochi Coastal Conservation Committee members who called for strong seawalls and groynes as permanent solution and showed little faith in the proposal for laying geobags.

Apart from Mr. Safirulla, Sheela Devi, Deputy Collector (disaster management); Kochi Tahsildar K.V. Ambrose; Chellanam panchayat president Mercy Josy, revenue, agriculture, KSEB, and irrigation officials also accompanied the Central team.

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