THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Low-lying areas along the banks of Neyyar at Neyyattinkara are still inundated following the torrential rain and increase in outflow of water from Neyyar Dam from Tuesday night.
However, no casualties were reported as all the residents have been shifted to various relief camps safely in and around Neyyattinkara town, thanks to a contingent of Indian Army from Pangode Military camp.
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The rescue operations took more than 12 hours as many people living near Kannankuzy and Rameshwaram region at the town could not come to the ground level owing to flooding. The rescue operations ended around 3.30 am on Thursday.
A bridge at Palakkadavu near Rameshwaram and a major portion of Viswabharathy Public School have been submerged. The Excise check-post at Palakkadavu was also washed away.
On Friday morning, the situation turned better with water receding slowly. The major chunk of residents who took shelter in the camps may be sent back to their homes by Saturday evening.
“It was a nightmare. I can’t even recall how we were rescued. In our family, all of them took shelter on the first floor. But, the residents at thatched houses suffered a lot. There was also a threat of reptiles. We are so grateful to Indian Army, Fire force and local people. I had thought that moment could be our last. We are expecting to go back to our houses very soon”, said Sarada, a resident of Rameshwaram. In the municipal limits, as many as 267 people from 92 families, including elderly people and children, were shifted to Government Girls HSS, Neyyattinkara.
In addition, various camps function at Olathanni, Parassala, Perumpazhuthoor, Poovar, Erthavoor, Balaramapuram and Chenkal. As per the statistics available with Neyyattinkara Taluk, over 1,600 people have been shifted to various camps.
Dispensation of compensation soon
According to K Mohanakumar, Neyyattinkara Thahsildar, a total of 140 houses had been damaged partially and 12 houses have been damaged fully in Neyyattinkara taluk. Above all, there is a huge amount of agricultural loss as all the paddy fields, banana and vegetable farms have been completely submerged. “ We can’t exactly estimate the statistics of agricultural loss. In fact, the evaluation has begun. We will compensate it as per the revised GO soon. At the same time, we will give Rs four lakh to each family whose houses were damaged fully while Rs 50,000 to the houses which damaged partially. We expect that all the people could be sent back to their houses on Saturday as the water started receding. We are also extending relief operations by supplying drinking water and other necessary materials”, said Mohanakumar.
Chenkal, a small village near Neyyattinkara is the highest rice producing region in the district. All the paddy fields have been washed away and the farmers are in dire straits. “ My years of hard work is lost in a single night. It will take months to recover. If the government doesn’t compensate, we have no option left,” said Thankappan Nadar, a paddy farmer. All Revenue officers, Neyyattinkara municipality councillors irrespective of political parties are actively carrying out relief measures. Neyyattinkara municipality, vice-chairman, KK Shibu said that all the charity organisations and members of political parties are on the field and they are reaching out to every household to ensure assistance.
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Shashi Tharoor lauds relief ops
After visiting a relief camp at Neyyattinkara, Shashi Tharoor told Express that the relief operations were timely and hence no untoward incidents reported. “ All the relief operations in the affected areas were carrying out well. I have been to five relief camps. In some camps, there was a shortage of electricity and food. But, we are leaving no stones unturned to reach out with help and assistance. As per the weather forecast, the rain at southern districts is expected to fall in the coming days. Hopefully, they can be sent back to their houses. Similarly, I have requested to release amount from my MP fund to the affected people in the region”.
‘situation is alarming’
“ There is a tremendous loss reported in agriculture and houses were destroyed. We will surely compensate for the loss. The situation at Chenkal is alarming and the farming area have been inundated. So the relief measures are on and I am with the people of Neyyattinkara”.