RANNI: A month has gone by after the floods. But the shutters of almost 80 per cent of the 950 shops in Ranni market road are still down. By 7 pm, most of the shop owners who managed to open their shops close down and the once the bustling market falls silent by almost 8 pm. Staring at a total loss of over Rs 70 crore, the traders and shop owners have decided to approach the court against the KSEB seeking compensation for the loss.
“The KSEB and the authorities concerned had failed to give a proper alert. Ranni had never witnessed a deluge of this magnitude with water rising to over 22 ft. People are mentally down. Though the government has promised to direct the banks to offer an interest-free loan of Rs 10 lakh to traders, no such initiative has taken place. In our first meeting attended by the local MLA and the MP, we took a decision to sue KSEB holding it responsible for the deluge,” said Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (Ranni unit) president Jacob Mathew.
Sukumaran Nair M S, owner of Ambadi Bakery in Ranni market, said it will take at least a year for the market to regain its liveliness.
“People are not interested in buying anything other than basic things due to shortage of money. In fact, I had to shell out Rs 50,000 to clean and repair my shop after the floods. I have also lost goods valued at Rs 1 lakh,” he said.
M S Vikraman, another shop owner, has the same tale to tell. Though he has cleaned the shop and opens it every day, he closes it by 6 pm.
“I don’t have money to get fresh stock and there are no buyers too. We hope things will be back to normal soon. Otherwise, it will be tough to sustain our livelihood with this shop in Ranni,” he said.