In an official letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday requested Centre’s assistance in tackling the flood situation in his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad, one of the severely affected areas in the state battered by torrential rainfall and landslides.
The Congress leader, who had visited flood-hit areas including worst-hit Puthumala in Wayanad district and Kavalappara near Nilambur in Malappuram district, highlighted the urgent need to protect the biodiversity of the area saying it’s one of the most ‘fragile parts of the Western Ghats and home to 10 per cent biodiversity of the country’. Rahul left Kerala today morning after winding up his two-day visit to Wayanad.
In the letter, he wrote: “I would like to highlight the twin crises, one that affects the life and livelihood of people in Wayanad and second, the critical status of the ecology in an area that is known as a global hotspot for biodiversity with the potential to contribute to carbon sequestration benefiting the country as a whole.”
<p “width=420″ lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I have written a letter to the Prime Minister on the flood & landslide situation in Wayanad & have informed him of the measures the Central govt. can take in order to make Wayanad & other flood prone regions safer for its people. pic.twitter.com/awHdsUI14n— Rahul Gandhi – Wayanad (@RGWayanadOffice) August 13, 2019
He also drew attention to the crises in the farming sector that have led to a spate of farmer suicides in the state and urged the Prime Minister to develop a long-term strategy and action plan through a special package to support the life and livelihood of people in Wayanad.
“A large number of farmers have committed suicide in the last two decades due to crises in the farm sector. The destruction of forests and the depletion of inflow into the streams and rivers endanger farms and population in three states – Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu,” he wrote.
The Congress leader also suggested that PM Modi consider his two measures to deal with the flood situation in the state in future: “First, many lives can be saved if early warning systems are installed to alert populations in vulnerable areas and specially-designed landslide/flood shelters and communication facilities are provided in such places. Second, developing a long-term strategy and an action plan supported through a special package of assistance to protect both life and livelihoods of people to be taken in priority.”
Rahul had spoken to PM Modi last week asking for his support to mitigate the effects of the disaster in the state. He had also praised the flood-hit people of his constituency, saying the bravery and dignity displayed by them in the face of tragedy was “truly humbling.”
“I left Wayanad with nothing but pride for the people I represent,” Gandhi wrote on his Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Thiruvananthapuram Tuesday predicted fresh spells of active rainfall in Kerala on August 13 and 13. A red alert is sounded Tuesday in three districts — Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Idukki — which are likely to get heavy to very heavy rains. A red alert is issued in Malappuram and Palakkad for Wednesday.
There is an orange alert in nine districts Tuesday, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad, one of the worst-affected areas. At Puthumala and Kavalappara, where landslides wrecked havoc last week, many people are still feared to be trapped beneath the debris.