Opposition flays Kerala govt’s flood management


PTI, Oct 19, 2021, 8:33 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition Congress and the BJP in Kerala on Tuesday hit out at the ruling LDF over its flood management, claiming the government failed to implement projects including ”Room For River” project and ‘Rebuild Kerala’ announced by it earlier to tackle the frequent flooding in the state.

Talking to reporters in Kannur, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, V D Satheesan, said the Chief Minister during his visit to the Netherlands in May 2019 had announced the ”Room for River” project, being implemented in the European nation, to tackle flooding and ensure the safety of people living in flood-prone areas.

”That was a good idea. The project was to drain the water flowing into the river basins. But the plan has not yet been implemented,” Satheesan said, blaming the government’s handling of the situation after the devastating flash floods and landslides that had occurred in south-central districts of Kerala last week had claimed several lives and rendered many homeless.

He urged the government not to go ahead with its Silver Line (rail) project, which is expected to reduce travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod, claiming it will divide the state and obstruct the smooth flow of water.

Criticizing the state government’s approach towards the ecological issues of its Western Ghats region, Satheesan said the Left had organized bandh in the state against the recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil Committee report to protect hills.

”The Gadgil report should have been implemented after discussing it in the Gram Sabhas. Instead, they (the Left) tried to mislead the farmers and persuaded them to protest its implementation. Later, they tried to implement the ”deadly” Kasturi Rangan report on the Western Ghats,” he alleged.

BJP state president K Surendran alleged that ”Rebuild Kerala”, the government’s dream project, has come to a ”complete standstill”.

After visiting the areas affected by landslips and flash floods in Kottayam district, Surendran said the present situation is an example of how the government has not learned anything from previous tragedies that had hit the state.

”The government has not spent even half the amount it had collected for Rebuild Kerala,” he alleged and urged the government to provide immediate assistance to the people affected by the rains.

The Rebuild Kerala initiative was announced as a unique approach to rebuilding the state following large-scale destruction in the floods of August 2018, which was unprecedented in the history of the state.

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