Flood-ravaged Kerala to borrow 100 billion rupee loan for reconstruction

Vastavam web: Flood-ravaged Kerala will seek to borrow more than 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) to finance reconstruction work after a disaster that has claimed nearly 400 lives, its chief minister said on Tuesday. The proposed loan is part of a special package that Kerala, which estimates it has suffered damage of at least 200 billion rupees, will seek from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for rebuilding efforts, minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

“Our aim is not merely a restoration of the state to pre-flood times, but the creation of a new Kerala,” Vijayan told. The worst floods in the state in a century claimed 383 lives, razed tens of thousands of homes, and washed away roads and bridges. Around 1.3 million are sheltering in thousands of relief camps.

Even as rescue efforts come to a halt across Kerala and focus shifts to relief, more than 3,000 people in a remote village located in an eco-sensitive area are angry with what they say is the apathy of forest officials in rescue and relief operations. Government engineers said the temporary restoration of road access will take another four days and that food supplies won’t be airlifted any more, insteady being transported by volunteers and government staff.Roads were found to be impassable and huge trees had fallen over them. Diesel and food supplies have to be carried to reach the point at which the road is accessible.