ALAPPUZHA: An evacuation of epic proportions has come to an end in Alappuzha district, with 95 per cent of the population from Kuttanad and Chengannur taluks shifted to safe locations. “The concerted efforts of NGOs, the police, Fire and Rescue Services, Navy, Air Force, Army, fishermen, the public and government departments, enabled the successful evacuation of people,” said PWD Minister G Sudhakaran. “Only people who did not wish to relocate to camps remained.
The rescue teams served food to all people in camps and houses. The water decreasing to safe levels now comes as a respite to the torture that people and the government have endured,” Minister said. As per the records of the district administration, 2.5 lakh people were evacuated as from Kuttanad taluk in three days. Out of the total 1.99 lakh population in the taluk, a sizeable number who were able to do so, had moved out of the region when the situation began to deteriorate.
The district administration helped the remaining stranded in the marooned village to safety in the uplands. In Chengannur taluk, nearly 1 lakh people were shifted from flood-hit areas. “The taluk has a 1.28 lakh population; rescue workers evacuated more than 1 lakh people,” said an official.
Houseboat owners arrested
Alappuzha: Coming down hard on five houseboat owners who abstained from rescue operations in the backwater areas despite repeated requests by the district administration and the government, PWD Minister G Sudhakaran gave directives to the district police for their arrest. Zakaria Cherian of Lakes and Lagoon; Sali of Rainbow; Kurian of Cossy; Varghese Sony of Albin and Sibi of Thejus were the arrested Alappuzha-based houseboat owners.
Pathanamthitta limping back to normal
Pathanamthitta: With water-level in the three rivers of Pampa, Achankovil and Manimala coming down to safe level since last evening, the life of people in the district is limping back to normal. Barring some areas in Upper Kuttanad region and parts of Eraviperoor, Koipram and Aranmula panchayats, people in other parts of the district are having a sigh of relief with only occasional rain and receding water level. However, the district headquarters here is still cut off from other important centres, including Tiruvalla, Pandalam, Ranni and Adoor, for the past four days.
Many places, including some areas in the municipality, lack electricity and communication links, including telephone and mobile coverage. The public transport system, including KSRTC, private buses and taxis were off the road for the past four days across the district. Majority of the petrol bunks were shut down due to lack of stock, affecting the movement of vehicles.