Thiruvananthapuram: The worst is over for Kerala. With the flood waters receding, more than a third of the 1.45 million people sheltered in relief camps have returned home since Tuesday, an official said.
After suffering damage to assets from torrential rains since the middle of the second week of August, Kerala’s challenges now include quick restoration of electricity and water connections to homes as well as repairing over 10,000 kilometers of highways.
The number of people in relief camps peaked at 1.45 million on 21 August. “This has now come down to 9.5 lakh as on Friday," said the official quoted above, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after the daily review meeting that the number of displaced people at relief camps has further come down on Friday to 8.69 lakh. He said about a third of all flooded houses have been restored and are ready for use. Effective waste management is another priority for the state, he added.
Vijayan said he hoped the state will be allowed to accept aid from the UAE. “Both the ruler of UAE and the Prime Minister (Modi) informed the world about the aid UAE offered. We hope we will be able to accept, “ Vijayan said.
Besides the ₹ 600 crore emergency relief to the state, the central government has offered ₹ 2 lakh per person to the next kin of deceased and ₹ 50,000 to the seriously injured. The state government is currently preparing a comprehensive ₹ 2,600 crore rehabilitation and reconstruction proposal.
Meanwhile, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has launched an “Operation Sahayata" to help rehabilitate those who have been displaced by the floods.
The CRPF has deployed 350 troops, including 200 from the Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Palakkad and Thrissur.
The force has sprung into action to ensure that Thrissur’s Mala village, the worst hit by the floods, becomes habitable again as homes remain inundated and relief camps are stretched to capacity.