THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a comprehensive rehabilitation package for the victims of Cyclone Ockhi, which includes `20 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased fishermen and `5 lakh each for fishermen grievously injured.Terming the Ockhi calamity as ‘’extraordinary’’ and ‘’unprecedented,’’ Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, announcing the details of package, said the compensation amount was meant for finding alternate employment for the affected families. Every adult and child in the fishermen families that was prevented from going to work due to the cyclone will be paid `60 per day and `45 per day respectively for seven days.
The free rations announced by the state government for the fishermen families will be extended for a full month, he said. Fishermen who lost equipment such as boats and nets will be adequately compensated. The Cabinet has cleared a proposal for providing free education and vocational training to the children of the fishermen who died in the sea. The government also plans to provide financial assistance to the fishermen families that were evacuated to relief camps due to the cyclone.
A panel consisting of Addl Chief Secretary (Revenue) and Principal Secretary (Fisheries) has been formed to make timely revisions in the package. Another panel -consisting of the Additional Chief Secretaries and the Principal Secretaries for Revenue, Home and Fisheries - has been constituted to provide adequate compensation to fishermen who cannot be traced. For the purpose, necessary amendments will be made to the legal procedures, the CM said.
All-party meet tomorrow
T’Puram: The government has called an all-party meet on Friday to discuss the cyclone issue. Thirty-three fishermen have been confirmed dead and 96 still missing in the sea. According to official records, 1,785 people have been rescued so far after the cyclone struck on November 30.
‘92 fishers missing’
The CM said as per official statistics, 92 fishermen were still missing in the sea. Claims made by the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram and other groups that more men are missing will be examined.
Rescue ops saved 2,600: CM
The Chief Minister said the search and rescue operations launched on November 30 - the day the cyclone struck - had succeeded in saving the lives of nearly 2,600 people, including 1,130 Malayalees. ‘’The rescue operation itself was carried out on an unprecedented scale in the deep sea,” he said.
‘Govt’s delayed response exacerbated tragedy’
Kochi: The state government’s failure to intervene at the right time in the wake of the ‘Ockhi’ alert resulted in the loss of so many precious lives which could have otherwise been saved when the super storm pounded the Kerala coastline, according to Archbishop M Soosai Pakiam. “The rescue operations were hit as the authorities failed to properly gauge the gravity of the situation. A two-day meeting of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) looked into these issues. We are demanding the setting up of an independent Fisheries Department to monitor the issues concerning the coastal belt,” he told reporters here.