- At least 125 people killed, some 16,000 houses damaged in Kerala
- Rahul Gandhi prepares to visit Wayanad, his constituency
- In Wayanad district alone, 14 people have been killed
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has written to three Union Ministers asking for help to rebuild Kerala, recovering from floods, as he prepares to visit his constituency - one of the worst hit - Wayanad for the second time in less than a month today.
At least 125 people were killed and some 16,000 houses were damaged in Kerala this month in the floods that devastated the southern state for a second year in a row.
In his letter to Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Mr Gandhi asked for expansion of the scope of works under the MGNREGA in Kerala and hike in minimum guaranteed days of employment from 100 to 200 days.
"Kerala witnessed one of the worst floods in the last few decades. Heavy rains, flooding, landslides have left people homeless, and rendered thousands of houses uninhabitable due to the deposition of mud and silt in the houses... I would like to request you to expand the scope of works under MGNREGA for the state of Kerala for enabling the state to take up needed flood rehabilitation works, and also increase the minimum guaranteed days of employment for a family to 200 days," Mr Gandhi wrote.
In Wayanad district alone, 14 people were killed and in neighbouring Malappuram, parts of which fall within Wayanad parliamentary constituency, some 60 were killed.
Mr Gandhi has also written to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari asking for funds to repair, maintain and rebuild roads damaged by floodwaters in Wayanad, a popular destination with tourists.
He mentioned 20 stretches on National Highway 766, which connects Kerala and Karnataka, that needed immediate repairs.
"Landslides, road caving and other mishaps have caused extensive damage to the National highways. Restoration of damaged roads must be accorded highest priority for ensuring early recovery," Mr Gandhi wrote.
In another letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Mr Gandhi requested for new relief camps to be set up in Wayanad. "During my recent visit to Wayanad constituency, I received representations regarding setting up medical relief camps staffed by health specialists in Nilambur. I hope that the MoHFW will take immediate action in this regard," Mr Gandhi wrote.
An entire cluster of homes at a village was swept away by floodwaters in Wayanad; 17 people are still missing.