With floodwaters receding from most places in Kerala, the state government has taken up the massive task of cleaning houses and public places filled with slush left behind by the massive floods that has killed over 200 people.
The government has set up a control room in state capital Thiruvananthapuram to coordinate the cleaning process across the state. Municipal agencies have been tasked with overseeing the work, sources said today.
The Haritha Kerala Mission will also coordinate the cleaning process. It will deploy 50 high-power pump sets in different areas by Friday.
Teams drawn from different areas, including electricians and plumbers, have also been deployed. They would work along with more than 50,000 volunteers to clean houses and public places filled with slush and debris dumped by the floods, officials said.
As water level has receded, people have started returning home. However, more than 13 lakh people are still at 3,520 camps across the southern state.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who held a series of review meetings and monitored the rescue operations during the period of the crisis, visited some of the relief camps today. The Kerala Water Authority has taken steps to re-supply drinking water in affected areas, Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas said.
Of the 1,089 water supply schemes affected due to the floods, more than 800 have started functioning, he said, adding efforts were on to make others also functional.
Even as relief material and donations to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) pour in, a political row has erupted over accepting foreign aid. The CPM-led LDF government in the state said foreign aid should be accepted, even as there were reports that the centre was unlikely to accept it.
The issue surfaced after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offered Rs 700 crore for flood relief in Kerala. Mr Vijayan said there were no obstacles to receive foreign aid as per the National Disaster Management (NDM) Policy 2016 announced by the centre.
(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.)