Kerala floods one month after: Idukki’s plantation workers make do with paltry 'relief'

In Idukki’s hardest-hit areas, including the stretch from Vallakkadavu to Mlamala where a majority of plantation workers live, more than one in four households live in poverty.

Published: 15th September 2018 07:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2018 01:46 PM   |  A+A-

Prasannan, a native of Haileyburia in Vallakkadavu, surveys the devastation to his house and property located on the banks of the Periyar | Ramesh Shivan

Express News Service

IDUKKI: In Idukki’s hardest-hit areas, including the stretch from Vallakkadavu to Mlamala where a majority of plantation workers live, more than one in four households live in poverty. There are visible signs of neglect by the authorities. Most of them have received only paltry sums as relief. Along the river bank, the devastation has affected the most disadvantaged.

“I built my house with the retirement fund I got from the estate five years ago, coupled with a loan and the proceeds from the sale of my wife’s ornaments. After my house was destroyed in the floods, we have been living in a rented building, paying a monthly rent of `2,500,” said Prasannan.

He spent `15,000 towards the maintenance of his rented house. Yet, his family is forced to live without power and toilet facilities.

“The `10,000 the administration is giving is too meagre for the level of damage that occurred,” he said.  
As per the district disaster management data, the administration has distributed the relief fund of `10,000 for maintenance and cleaning work to 3,197 people out of the 3,284 beneficiaries. However, many have received only `3,800 in their bank accounts even a month since the deluge. They are forced to repair their damaged houses by spending from their own pockets. 

Braving all odds
 

Idukki: The rain had been coming down in torrents for a day and through the night when Prasannan’s phone rang. “My elder sister, who is living on the other side of the Periyar, called screaming that she was flooding out,” he said.  Prasannan with his wife and daughter, his sisters and their kids, had moved to a relief camp near Karimban Chappathu after the mid-August deluge upended their lives. Accompanied by his neighbour, Prasannan hurtled through the flooded streets to help.  

Houses damaged - 3,466
Relief camps opened - 9 
People still in  relief camps - 354 
People credited with relief fund of L10,000 - 3,197
Landslides - 278
Landslips - 1,800
Roads washed away - 253 km
Agri loss - L62.13 crore
Electricity Dept loss
Poles - 2,610
XP Line - 9,810.25 km
LP line - 1,943.14 km
Transformers - 134

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