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Ockhi victims in Chellanam yet to get Kerala government aid for pucca toilets

 As the misery continues for families affected by cyclone Ockhi in Chellanam, where the authorities are yet to deliver on promises such as clearing clogged septic tanks, the Ernakulam unit of All

Published: 06th February 2018 01:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2018 06:25 AM   |  A+A-

Ockhi, Kerala, vizhinjam

A file photo of women with hopes of return of their dear ones at the St Mary's church in Vizhinjam. (EPS | Kaviyoor Santhosh)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: As the misery continues for families affected by cyclone Ockhi in Chellanam, where the authorities are yet to deliver on promises such as clearing clogged septic tanks, the Ernakulam unit of All India Professionals’ Congress (AIPC) has entered the fray to initiate relief measures.The first project undertaken by the AIPC was to build a teashop for Sebina, a widow with three kids to support. A new steel shed complete with a solar lighting unit completed at a cost of Rs 70,000 was handed over to her.

A Chellanam resident stands in front of a
ferrocement septic tank provided under the ‘
Swatcham’ scheme | Express

“Her earlier teashop was being run from a makeshift shed powered only by a petromax lamp till it got damaged by Ockhi. We received help for construction activities from volunteers of Youth Icons and local panchayat members,” said AIPC vice-president Henry Austin.The AIPC’s second project in Chellanam was ‘Swatcham’, which was conceived with the aim of providing Ferrocement septic tanks to replace the clogged ring septic tanks for 25 deserving households.

“Panchayat ward members helped us identify the 25 beneficiaries from seven wards of Chellanam panchayat,” said Austin, who is the project convener of Swatcham.Under the Swachh Bharat scheme, many pucca toilets had been built at a cost of Rs 25,000 per unit, he said.

“While the Central government aid of Rs 15,000 was disbursed, the state government’s share of Rs 10,000 from the fisheries department is yet to be disbursed. Many families had availed private loans at usurious rates to complete these toilets in the hope of repaying when the state government share was reimbursed to them,” said Austin.

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