As floodwaters recede in Kerala, the focus is now on taking care of the over 10.40 lakh people staying in relief camps and rehabilitating people whose houses have been destroyed in the floods.
People from all over the country and abroad have pitched in to help the state by offering material and also cash donations to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).
A total of Rs 539 crore has been received till last night, official sources said. Though people from relief camps have started returning to their homes, more than 10.40 lakh people were still in 2,770 camps across the state.
After the floodwaters started receding, nearly five lakh people have gone back to their houses over the past few days. However, people who have returned to their homes face the gigantic task of cleaning their houses as it is filled with slush along with different species of reptiles including poisonous cobras.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who visited relief camps in the worst-affected Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur district yesterday, has said that the government's focus was now on rehabilitation of the affected people and rebuilding the state.
On the cleaning process, he said sanitation drive was on and more than 37,000 wells and 60,000 houses were cleaned.
"We have roped in forces to carry out burial of animal carcasses that posed a health threat," he said.
On the rehabilitation process, he said people living in disaster-prone areas would be shifted to a suitable location after due consultation. "Let us celebrate Onam festival by providing relief and help to the flood-affected people," Mr Vijayan said.
The annual harvest festival of the state, Onam, falls tomorrow. Assuring help to people, he said plans were on to provide interest-free bank loans to repair flood-hit houses.
The government was planning to complete cleaning of public places and houses by end of this week, official sources said, adding special squads have been formed at the ward level to co-ordinate the work.
(Kerala has to rebuild itself after the worst floods in over a century. Hundreds have died and lakhs are homeless. Here is how you can help.)