THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated a one-day workshop on ‘Hazards of lightning and protection strategies for Kerala’ organised jointly by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) and the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) at Kanakakkunnu Palace here on Friday.
During the workshop to discuss various measures that can be adopted by people to guard themselves against lightning accidents, Chandy said that the state should step up to create awareness of these methods among the people.
The Chief Minister was also critical of the Central government for not including lightning strikes in the disaster list, thereby denying compensation for such accidents from the Centre.
“We have taken up the problem with the Planning Commission and the Centre on several occasions, but a decision is yet to be agreed upon,” Chandy said, adding that the state government will continue giving a compensation of Rs 2 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to lightning victims.
Studies have shown that the cumulonimbus clouds which produce lightning are prevalent in the state especially during April-May and October-November. Kerala reports the highest number of lightning strikes in the country.
V N Rajasekharan Pillai, executive vice-president of KSCSTE, said that the chances of lightning strikes have increased with the evolving lifestyle.
“Today we are wired with many gadgets and electronic devices that increase the risk of strikes. People should be given proper awareness to reduce the instances of lightning strikes,” he said.
George Varghese, director of KSCSTE, said that awareness must be given to farmers and people in the towns and villages, where the risk is higher.
KSCSTE member secretary K K Ramachandran, CISSA general secretary C Sureshkumar and secretary K G Ajitkumar, among others, were present at the function.