Kerala floods: 100 days after, where is the reconstruction
The reconstruction is slow in the state whose loss was to the tune of ₹30,000 crore as per a UN study
Ernakulam/Bengaluru: In the months that followed the floods in Kerala, A. Raju, who drives an Uber cab in Ernakulam saw his dreams crumble.
The floods disrupted all walks of life, and when he could not pay for his car, the private financier took possession of it. He was allowed to keep driving under the condition he hand over the bulk of his daily earnings.
It’s nearly 100 days since the century’s worst floods lashed Kerala, but for many like Raju, life is yet to get back to normal. According to a United Nations study, the floods caused damage of ₹30,000 crore.
“There are institutional bottlenecks. Kerala has no proper master plan for any district; hundreds of areas and buildings damaged in the floods were built on dubious legality in the first place. Before the state, the system itself needs a reconstruction,” a person aware of official talks said on condition of anonymity.
“A ₹4 lakh compensation was announced for people whose houses were damaged. Out of the total 2.4 lakh people whose houses and land were either fully or partially damaged, only 6,537 people applied for compensation so far, and the state compensated only 1,656 people, spending only ₹16 crore,” Congress leader and opposition leader in Kerala assembly, Ramesh Chennithala told reporters on Sunday.
On Friday, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had complained that the inadequacy of central funds was affecting the pace of rebuilding. Kerala had asked for a ₹5,616 crore relief assistance from the centre, out of which the centre has given so far only ₹600 crore.
“Small scale businessmen were to get bank loans of up to ₹10 lakh. But banks have not yet given them, as the government failed to create a consortium. At least ₹1 lakh interest-free credit was offered through Kudumbasree (Kerala’s biggest women’s self-help group). Some 1.42 lakh have applied for it, but only 38,441 have given loans,” Chennithala said Sunday.