NEW DELHI: Congress leader and Wayanad MP, Rahul Gandhi has written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, stressing on providing post-flood relief and rehabilitation to the people of the state.
He also urged the state government to ensure timely payment of the compensation amount to those affected in the recent floods.
Gandhi, in his letter to Vijayan on Tuesday, lauded the 'untiring efforts' and 'dedication' of the public functionaries and the citizens of Kerala for extending support to the families affected in the recent floods.
Gandhi highlighted the need for post-flood relief and wrote, "Post-flood relief and rehabilitation are critical, especially in the backdrop of widespread agrarian distress and a slowing economy. Over the past month, I have been receiving representations from people across Kerala on a few key issues and I would like to draw your attention to those issues."
Stressing on a few other issues including timely compensation being provided to the affected people here, Gandhi wrote: "I hope that the State government is ensuring the payment of compensation in a time-bound manner, particularly to small and marginal farmers who have suffered extensive damage to their houses, and lost their primary source of livelihood."
Highlighting other pressing issues, Gandhi urged the State government to repair and upgrade the public infrastructure, particularly roads which have been damaged by the floods.
"Two consecutive years of flooding has resulted in extensive damage to public infrastructure, including sections of the State highways, rural roads, bridges and culverts. The State government should pursue with the Central Ministries, particularly Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to secure funds under the Central Road Fund (CRF) and Economic Importance and Inter-State Connectivity Schemes (EI & ISC)," wrote Gandhi.
Gandhi wrote that according to the assessment made by the State Disaster Management authorities, several communities might have to be relocated permanently hence, special care should be taken to ensure that they must get access to adequate livelihood opportunities.
"Long term flood mitigation measures such as embankments should be taken. Considering the increasing frequency of adverse weather events, flood mitigation infrastructure must be prioritised. Furthermore, activities like illegal quarrying and deforestation, that resulted in landslides and aggravated flooding, must be curtailed," he added.
Gandhi suggested the Chief Minister to consider setting up an early warning system in order to alert the people residing in the vulnerable areas and provide them with specially designed landslide and flood shelters with communication facilities.
The Wayanad MP also asserted that their collective efforts would ensure a life of 'dignity' for those struggling to rebuild their lives in the state.