THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state slowly recovering from the scars left by the deluge, much is expected from the Chief Minister’s scheduled visit to the Netherlands. The delegation team led by the Chief Minister will visit the country for understanding its much-acclaimed Room for the River Project and site visits for understanding modern agricultural practices in low lying areas, coastal area protection, canal navigation and others.
The three-day visit, to commence on May 9, also aims at holding talks with Netherlands’ Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management and interaction with experts on the Dutch Risk Reduction Programme.
“The scheduled visit of the Chief Minister to the Netherlands is expected to bolster the state’s post-flood rebuilding exercise. As the Netherlands had one of the best water management systems in place in the world and is the proponent of the Room for the River Project, the visit will help the state in multiple ways in its rebuilding efforts,” said a senior government officer.
“Between 1993 and 1995, Netherlands’ three main rivers swelled to unprecedented levels inundating large tracts of lands, causing mass destruction to life and property. Then the government come out with the Room for the River Project,” said the officer.
After the visit to the Netherlands, the Chief Minister will participate in the fourth edition of World Reconstruction Conference in Geneva in Switzerland and attend the function of the listing of Masala Bond on London Stock Exchange Group’s International Securities Market.
“The participation of the state in the fourth edition of World Reconstruction Conference is itself an acknowledgement for its interventions during the floods. It gets further established when a special session based on the theme ‘Ecosystem based-recovery: the case of Kerala floods 2018’ was included by the organisers,” said Sekhar L Kuriakose, member secretary, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.
According to Sekhar, the conference will help bring a perspective change among those who point fingers at the state government alleging ‘wait and watch approach’ during the floods. Apart from the Chief Minister and the KSDMA member secretary, Tom Jose and Revenue principal secretary V Venu will attend the conference.
Visit facilitated by UNEP
An officer said the visit, facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme, will be carried out by the Chief Minister, chief secretary Tom Jose and additional chief secretary Water Resources Department Vishwas Mehta.