Official apathy spells woes for 2018 Kerala flood victims

Non-construction of strong outer bunds as suggested by MS Swaminathan panel and others has put people living on bunds of polders in Kuttanad in harm’s way.

Published: 24th August 2019 02:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2019 02:13 AM   |  A+A-

Remya with her three-year-old son in front of the house which was destroyed in last year’s flood at Valiyathuruth, Kainakari in Kuttanad

Remya with her three-year-old son in front of the house which was destroyed in last year’s flood at Valiyathuruth, Kainakari in Kuttanad | Express

Express News Service

KAINAKARI (ALAPPUZHA ): After the massive deluge of the century, the post-flood rehabilitation in the worst affected areas of Kuttanad is in limbo. The poor and marginalised people residing on the narrow bunds of paddy polders are in peril because of official apathy, red tape and nature’s fury.

After last year’s flood, the MS Swaminathan Commission and various other agencies recommended strong outer bunds to mitigate the distress of farmers and residents, but it remained only on paper. This year too, the outer bunds were destroyed in the monsoon, flooding hundreds of houses.  

Remya, a 29-year-old homemaker, lives with her three-year-old son and husband Ratheesh on the bund of Valiyathuruth paddy polder in Kainakari. She remembers the evening of June 14, 2018, when the outer bund was breached and her house and the dwelling of a neighbour were destroyed in the flood. “A portion of the house was washed away. Today, it is no longer habitable,” she said. 

From July 2018, they have been frequently visiting various government offices for compensation. But, they have not got a pie till date. “It is because we do not have a ration card. When we approached Civil Supplies Department officials for a ration card, they asked for the house number. When we went to the panchayat office for house number, they asked for the title deed.

When we approached the village office to get the title deed, they asked for the older deed. We are fed up with legal tangles. Sometimes, we think of taking the extreme step,” said Remya.Pravitha, Kamalalayam House, Valiyathuruth, has been wandering from one government office to the other for compensation. “My house was destroyed when the outer bund breached. We have submitted all documents, but the department has not yet allotted money,” Pravitha said. 

Aid given

  • Houses fully damaged: 2,751  (Amount distributed: Rs 400 crore approx). 2,066 people opted for self-construction of houses. They were given Rs 90,000 as first instalment.
  • Houses completed: 465
  • Construction of houses under Care Home project of the Cooperative Department: 201
  • Houses completed: 85

Relief to victims (category wise) 

  • Damage below 15%: 47,735 (Rs 10,000 each given to 43,391 beneficiaries)
  • Amount distributed: Rs 43.39 crore
  • Between 16 to 29%: 33,992  (Rs 60,000 each given to 32,079 beneficiaries)
  • Amount distributed: Rs 192.47 crore
  • Between 30 to 59%: 17,405 (Rs 1.25 lakh each given to 14,228 beneficiaries)
  • Amount distributed: Rs 177.85 crore
  • Between 60 to 75%: 5,621 (Rs 2.5 lakh each given to 4,787 beneficiaries)
  • Amount distributed: Rs 119.67 crore


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