PALAKKAD: It was in the early hours of August 16, 2018 that three houses were completely buried in the mud following flooding and a resultant landslide claiming 10 precious lives at Cherumkattil in Aluvassery near Nenmara.
“There was a loud sound and before people could get outside their houses, huge boulders, soil, trees and stones came crashing down. A portion of my house collapsed, but my family could luckily get outside in the nick of time. More than 10 people lost their lives.
The bodies were recovered from under the soil after three days of rescue efforts,” said Manikantan who drives an autorickshaw to eke out a living in Nenmara. “Bethlehem Community English Medium School built three houses (500 square feet each) for us and I moved into one of them on June 6 when the school opened. My mother Kalyani, wife Sunitha and children Prajith, Praveen and Chinchu are also with me. We get drinking water from a borewell. I also got an electricity connection and Vallangi Higher Secondary School donated me an autorickshaw,” said Manikantan.
“After the incident, we were housed in the Irrigation Department quarters for the last one year where we had to pay only the water and power charges.”Bethlehem Community English medium school has built three houses in four cents of land each for Manikantan, Akhila who had lost six members of her family and Ambika who had lost four family members. However, nine families which were shifted from the landslide-prone area by revenue authorities are yet to be rehabilitated.
What the official says
Vallangi village officer Baby said family members of each deceased were paid Rs 4 lakh and Rs 40 lakh had been disbursed in this regard. Treatment of injured at the hospital amounting to Rs 7 lakh was also borne by the government. He added the problem in Vallangi village was that none of the deceased had title deeds to their property. Two to three acres of land were allotted for rubber cultivation in the 1990s, but many of them built houses on the land. Therefore, they did not get title deeds.
The village officer said nine families were moved to irrigation quarters in Nenmara and Pothundy after the incident. The Revenue Department identified a piece of land at Vithunassery to rehabilitate them, but they gave it in writing that they did not want that land and preferred an area around Pothundy dam. Therefore, the government decided to sanction Rs 10 lakh for each of the nine families, I6 lakh for buying land and I4 lakh for building a house.
woes of the landless
While kin of deceased have got compensation, families which were shifted by authorities because of landslide threat still wait for relief amount
Rs 40L Amount disbursed as compensation for deceased
Rs 10L Amount sanctioned by state to each of the nine families
The Revenue Department identified a piece of land at Vithunassery to rehabilitate them, but they gave it in writing that they did not want that land and preferred an area around Pothundy dam