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Boat services started from Vanchikkulam

Thrissur Corporation to turn it into a tourist spot

The Hindu 17 Aug 2022 10:59 pm

CBI takes over probe of Thrissur jail inmates murder case, names 6 officials in FIR

CBI takes over probe of Thrissur jail inmates murder case, names 6 officials in FIR

India Today 17 Aug 2022 2:56 pm

With new banquet space, Hyatt Regency Thrissur to focus on MICE, social events

The hotel brand is looking at nearly 25 per cent growth in 2023 with its 1 lakh sq ft banquet space

The Hindu Businessline 17 Aug 2022 1:28 pm

Class 12 girl gang-raped by father's friends in Kerala's Thrissur, 1 arrested

Class 12 girl gang-raped by father's friends in Kerala's Thrissur, 1 arrested

India Today 17 Aug 2022 9:33 am

Appointment of wife of Pinarayi's PS under scanner after marksheet emerges

Controversy Priya Varghese is the wife of KK Ragesh, the Private Secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. TNM Staff Priya Varghese/PC/Screenshot The reply to a query through an RTI (Right to Information) points to irregularity in the appointment of Priya Varghese as Associate Professor of Kerala's Kannur University. Priya Varghese is the wife of KK Ragesh, Private Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and a former CPI(M) MP of the Rajya Sabha. The appointment of Priya has sparked off a controversy as complaints were raised that she didnt possess the required qualifications. The RTI shows that Priya, from among all the candidates who gave an interview for the post, scored the lowest for published research articles. She is also the one with the least experience in teaching. The second-ranked candidate Joseph Scaria, secured a higher research score -651 as compared to Priya, who secured 156. Another candidate, C Ganesh, scored 645. However, Priya was awarded the first rank after the interview. Priya's appointment was in the Malayalam department of the University. Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has sought a report from Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran on the alleged irregularity in the appointment of Priya Varghese. The report was sought on a complaint lodged by the Save University Campaign, a whistleblower collective. The Save University Campaign Committee and a few others have been protesting ever since Priyas name appeared among the six candidates shortlisted for the interview. Priya used to work as an Assistant Professor at the Kerala Varma College, Thrissur. She was appointed to the Kannur University in June this year. The appointment was approved by the University syndicate after seeking legal advice following complaints that were raised against the appointment. Those opposing her appointment highlighted that the qualifications required to become an associate professor included having a Ph.D degree and eight years of teaching experience, which she did not have. They claimed that the three years of leave she had taken to complete her Ph.D, cannot be counted as teaching experience. Besides, her experience of two years as a student director on deputation at the Kannur University also cannot be counted as teaching experience, they said. With IANS inputs Watch: The Har Ghar Tiranga campaign and changes to the flag code on Let Me Explain

The News Minute 13 Aug 2022 7:03 pm

Karuvannur bank scam: ED raids houses of five accused in Kerala

Enforcement Directorate It was in 2019 that the Rs 100 crore fraud at the Karuvannur bank, which is controlled by a board whose members are local CPI(M) functionaries, came to light. IANS The Enforcement Directorate of the Kochi zonal office on Wednesday, August 10, began carrying out simultaneous raids at the residences of five accused in the Rs 100 crore fraud at the Thrissur-based Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. Incidentally, four of the five accused whose residences were being raided are out on bail. The ED officials involved in the raids were being guarded by armed CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) personnel. The Karuvannur Cooperative Bank fraud in Thrissur district came to light in 2019, and received media attention in July last year following the suicide of a man allegedly after receiving a notice from the bank for recovering money. The scam received attention again in July this year, following the death of a 70-year-old depositor named Philomena. Her family said they were unable to withdraw money deposited in the bank for her medical treatment after she was hospitalised in June. The Kerala High Court last week directed the Karuvannur bank to stop all payments barring emergency ones, and asked the Pinarayi Vijayan government to prepare a roadmap aimed at paying back the depositors. The bank informed the court that they have only Rs 60 lakh in cash at present, but they have assets which can be sold to pay the depositors. The court also pointed out that of the total deposits of Rs 284 crore, a sum of Rs 142 crore has matured. Meanwhile, the Congress-led opposition has demanded a CBI probe into the bank fraud. It was in 2019 that the Rs 100 crore fraud at the Karuvannur bank, which is controlled by a board whose members are local CPI(M) functionaries, came to light. The fraud involved fake signatures, benami transactions and remortgaged properties. Four CPI(M) leaders who were allegedly involved in the fraud were expelled from the party after the scam came to light and disciplinary action was taken against others. Read: How a multi-crore cooperative bank scam in Kerala has shattered lives of depositors

The News Minute 10 Aug 2022 2:50 pm

How a multi-crore cooperative bank scam in Kerala has shattered lives of depositors

Karuvannur bank scam The multi-crore Karuvannur bank scam came as a blow to the cooperative sector in the state, which has a well-developed banking model. Saritha S Balan The Rs 100-crore Karuvannur bank scam in Kerala received media attention after TM Mukundan, a former Panchayat member died by suicide in July last year, allegedly after receiving a foreclosure notice for recovering money he never borrowed. The scam received limelight again following the death of 70-year old Philomena, who died on July 27 this year. Philomena's family staged a protest in front of the Karuvannur Service Cooperative bank in Thrissur district by keeping the dead body there. They alleged that they were not allowed to withdraw the money parked in the bank for her medical treatment. After the government intervened the bank has now returned the money to the family. The fraud came to light in 2019, when the Joint Registrar of Cooperation (Thrissur) ordered a probe. However, though the probe was completed in October 2020, no action was taken. The multi-crore scam came as a blow to the cooperative sector in the state, which has a well-developed banking model. The Karuvannur Cooperative Bank is controlled by a board, the members of which are local CPI(M) functionaries. The scam occurred allegedly with the knowledge of the board members. The misappropriation of money was carried out by forging signatures and documents. Though several arrests have been made, the depositors stare at a bleak future and risk losing their lifetime savings. TNM spoke to some depositors, who are waging a battle to get back their deposits. Joseph Sixty-year-old Joseph deposited his savings made through working in the Gulf in Karuvannur bank. He has three children and two of them have disabilities. Initially we used to get interest for the money we deposited, but that stopped gradually. We were given an assurance that the bank will soon have a tie-up with the Kerala Bank and that the amount deposited will be returned. After around six months we were told by the bank authorities that a consortium has been formed and the money will be returned in two months. Later, we were informed that the government will take over the bank. It has been two years since we have been told of such excuses. Initially they (the bank staff) used to behave well. But gradually, after all the issues were exposed, they began to ignore us. I have told them many times that I have kids who are differently abled, Joseph said. The bank later told Joseph that an administrator has been appointed and if we go the head office can meet him in person. However, the administrator was not there when a few of us went to the bank. This happened several times. Finally when we met the administrator in Thrissur he told us that he was only a part-time employee and had no idea how the money would be returned, says Joseph. He feels that the administrator was appointed only to assuage the feelings of depositors and take them into confidence. The Registrar of Cooperatives, however, removed the administrator MC Ajith and a three member administrative panel was given charge of the bank in July. Ajith's appointment was opposed as he had been auditing the bank accounts for the past four years and failed to detect the fraud. Watch the video of Joseph speaking to TNM Velayudhan Velayudhan, 70, is an auto rickshaw driver. A resident of Peechampallikkonam near Mapranam, he was an employee of the Health Department. I initially made a fixed deposit of Rs 8 lakh, which was later transferred as a savings bank account. I had also joined a chitty and another Rs 8 lakh was deposited. There were two other deposits of Rs 3.5 lakh and Rs 1.05 lakh. The bank has to return all the money, says Velayudhan, who stays in a rented house. He recently approached the bank seeking money for his treatment. If we apply to withdraw Rs 50,000 only Rs 10,000 would be given. The bank staff was cordial when they came to us for a deposit drive. It changed when we started seeking the money bank. Now that I am not well I cant ride the autorickshaw. I have issues with my spinal cord but cant go to a doctor for specialised treatment, says Velayudhan. He had also demolished an old house and started constructing a new one but the work had to be stopped half way. Velayudhan too has not much hope about the governments assurance that the money will be returned. There was a meditation meeting but none of the leaders or the administrator turned up, says Velayudhan. Watch TNM's interview with Velayudhan Devassy Devassy, now an 80-year-old, made his living in Mumbai for 40 years. He and his wife Philomena began depositing their savings at the Karuvannur bank back in 1995. Philomena was an employee of the Health Department. She was admitted in hospital in June this year and the family could not afford the treatment suggested. After her death, the family alleged that it was because of the banks failure to return the deposit despite repeated requests. They had deposited Rs 30 lakh in the bank. She was first taken to a government hospital and from there to the medical college hospital. The doctors there after examinations prescribed costly medicines. They suggested administering an injection thrice a day which was priced Rs 5,500 per dose. But since her body rejected the medicine the injection could not be continued. The doctors said the name of the disease which I didn't understand. The treatment was good, but the number of patients was too high and it was tough for the staff to manage. We thought of shifting her to a private hospital but I could not afford it, Devassy told TNM. Devassys account was with the Mapranam branch of the Karuvannur bank. The staff were never friendly during the branch visits and I was afraid their behaviour would provoke me to say something not fair, says Devassy who then approached the office of the banks Assistant Registrar at Irinjalakuda, which is a higher authority. Devassy says the visit was not helpful as he had no idea whom to approach. He also met the Karuvannur branch manager and appraised him about his situation. I called CPI(M) district secretary MM Varghese, who promised to communicate with the bank, but the money was not returned even after that, says Devassy. The couple saved money by starting fresh fixed deposit accounts with the interest of previous deposits and their fresh earnings. I have never withdrawn the money, the bank has not given even a penny in return. Yet the minister stated that the bank gave money for treatment, which is a lie. Giving back deposit money is not helping. If they have given me at least Rs 10 back for the treatment they should prove it. I believe my wife;s life could have been saved if we had got money on time, he says. What prompted the family to stage a protest with the dead body was a statement from Higher Education Minister R Bindu, who is also the local MLA, that they politicised the issue through the protest and that the money was given to the family before the death of Philomena. The minister visited their home on August 7 to return the money. Watch TNM's interview with Philomena's family Princy It was in 2016 that Princy deposited the money she received as retirement benefits in Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. She used to work in the Panchayat Department and is the sole breadwinner of the family. The money was deposited as savings to be used for my daughter's wedding. My husband is a heart patient who underwent an open heart surgery. The bank would give us Rs 10,000 in four months when we asked them to return the deposit, says Princy, who does not have any other source of income. Her husband did not have a job and they found it hard to raise money needed for medicines and treatment. We don't have money to pay for the tests. This has taken a toll on us mentally too. We fear that we will go through the same situation as that of Philomena, says Princy. She alleges that the accused in the bank scam, who are now out on bail, are living a life of luxury. They should introspect what they did to the hard earned money of people like us, says Princy. With the money from deposits she could at least meet basic necessities of life. Princy says they want to marry off the children but cannot proceed with the proposals because they cant get back the money. The bank would give only Rs 4 lakh out of Rs 18.5 lakh if we apply now. And for that we should provide proof of the wedding, says Princy. She is differently abled and it is not easy for her to commute to Irinjalakuda, which is the nearest town, often for bank transactions. Princy says she knew Philomena personally and believes that comments made by the minister were wrong. The family was expressing their grief through the protest. But the minister overlooked that. She also ignored the luxurious lifestyle of the accused, she alleged. Princy wants to know why the bank officials failed to act on time despite learning about the scam. They should have known this at some point, but still they turned a blind eye. The board members who had deposits in the bank withdrew the money when they came to know about the misappropriation. The scam came to light only after they withdrew the money. It was poor people like us who got cheated. We didnt know that the bank was a sinking ship as our trust was firm, says Princy. Her hope of getting back the money has faded. Its been a year and the amount of money they return is becoming less and less and the interval longer. I know one depositor who had to get Rs 2.5 lakh but only one lakh was returned for the wedding of their daughter. She couldnt even buy a good saree, says Princy. Watch TNM speaking to Princy

The News Minute 9 Aug 2022 3:56 pm

Man abducted from airport, five arrested

The five were arrested from a hotel at Thalassery where they were camping after kidnapping the passenger identified as Afsal of Thrissur.

The New Indian Express 9 Aug 2022 7:18 am

Urban sketchers: These artists of Keralagather every Sunday to follow their passion

Heritage buildings, a group of like-minded people and a lot of art, thats a Sunday morning for every Urban Sketcher in Thrissur district.

The New Indian Express 8 Aug 2022 4:09 am

Deluge of information during rains in Kerala, what state lacks is actionable data

Kerala Rains 2022 Though there is a flow of information on rains, dam levels and alerts on water release, Kerala lags behind in delivering information thats useful and does not create panic. Haritha John Photo: Joby George, Puthukudy landslide affected area On August 5, Puthukkudy near Vattavada in Idukki district experienced a major landslide. Residents of the area had a providential escape as they had shifted to temporary shelter and their homes were spared as debris flow took a slightly different route. Otherwise it would have been a repeat of the Pettimudi landslide of 2020 that took 70 lives or the Puthumala and Kavalappara landslides of 2019 that claimed 34 lives. Vattavada Panchayath President Ganapathiyammal told TNM that almost all families had shifted to a relief camp opened in a community hall four days ago. While we were aware of the risk we had no specific information on areas prone to landslides. When rain intensifies, people shift to these shelters, she said. Many panchayat members in Vattavada said that people in the panchayat have no idea which area is prone to landslides. Though there is a flow of information from the authorities on rains, water level in dams and alerts on water release, experts say the state is way behind in scientific mapping of vulnerable areas and delivering actionable information. A recent Times of India report said the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) does not have details of past landslides in the state. The report was based on an RTI response from KSDMA, which is the nodal agency for disaster management in the state. The agency said the data was available with the Geological Survey of India (GSI). The KSDMA website however hosts a map of landslide susceptible zones in Kerala. The GSI has completed a macro scale susceptibility mapping for 13 districts in the state in 2020, which could be used to identify vulnerabilities and develop zoning regulations for reducing threat of landslides. Location-specific actionable information is crucial to save lives. If the people of Pettimudi knew about the cloudburst and possible landslide, precious lives could have been saved. Even though local self-government and district administration pass information and warnings on time, there are many flaws in identifying vulnerable areas and information systems. Absence of scientific mapping KG Thara, former head of Disaster Management Centre, Kerala, says a government with no scientific temperament is our biggest drawback. There should be studies using standardised scales. Different studies are on different scales. None of the maps published by the state government marking hazardous areas are georeferenced (associating a digital map in relation to the physical geography). Even scientists are not open about it, she alleged. Thara said that since the present hazard maps are not to scale, the chances of error are also very high. Parameters to identify flood or landslide vulnerable areas, like slope, amount of rainfall, soil thickness, permeability of soil and so on, should be uniform across the state and maps thus prepared should form the basis for preparing local action plans. Rapid Visual Screening can be done to delineate areas highly vulnerable to disasters, which later can be studied in detail, she said. She said that detailed study and investigation at micro/ward level is the need of the hour. We need in-depth micro-level analysis of every vulnerable area. We have enough geologists to do that in the state. We need to give them necessary directions and training to complete the task in a mission mode without delay, she said. Effective communication on the extent of risk in each locality and educating the public was the next relevant step that the state should take up seriously, she claimed. People should know what can happen, how much time they have, to move to safety etc. They cannot always be expected to just pack things and wait for instructions from above. They need to be await what to do at the the time of yellow, orange or red alerts on their own, she said. SP Ravi, Director of River Research Centre (RRC), an NGO based in Thrissur district says regular updation on maps that specify the disaster prone areas are necessary. While preparing the maps, rainfall pattern of the particular year and cloudburst possibilities should be considered. We are way back in updation, he said. According to him, mapping will help people understand how to use the sloped terrain more sustainably to prevent disasters. In flood prone areas mapping should be done based on expected rainfall, he said. The amount of rain Pettimudi and Kavalappara received before the tragedy was much higher than the official data, he said. Such maps created at the local body level should be available to the public and they should be able to comprehend the information, if the scientific work is to be meaningful, he said. Ravi says flood modelling is hardly done in the state. There is no public data available on flood modelling of some rivers in the state. It's not easy to do that because we have so many factors. But we need to do at least a basic model and later improvise on it based on studies and experiments, he added. In August 2018, Kerala witnessed the massive flood of the century. Heavy rains also triggered several small and large landslides in high range areas. Kerala witnessed flooding on a limited scale and landslides in 2019 and 2020. Ever since, the lives of people living in hilly areas and river banks have changed. People are risk averse and hence willing to move out of flood-prone areas. But officials have complained that in some hilly regions in Idukki and Wayanad they had to force people to move to relief camps. Ready to move, when it rains Jibin Sunny, a 28-year-old youth, lives in rural Wayanad, not far away from Puthumala, where a major landslide claimed 17 lives on August 8, 2019. His family includes aged parents and elder sister with physical disabilities. Now, every monsoon season they keep an emergency kit, which has items listed by the KSDMA, ready. The kit apart from listed tools and medicines also has dry food items, cloth and napkins. After 2019, every monsoon we are prepared to seek another shelter if the rain intensifies. Many families here dont even wait for a warning. If the rain increases, they will move to the house of a relative elsewhere. Since we have no other place we wait for a warning, so that we can move to a government shelter, says Jibin. People living on the shores of flood-prone rivers like Manimalayaar, Achankovil , Periyar, Chalakudy also seem to have accepted the vagrancy the monsoon season brings year after year. Antony from Manimala in Kottayam says: Now we know how much flood the Manimayar will cause. We always keep important documents in plastic covers, move electronic goods upstairs. We are also planning to get fibreglass boats. Some families who live close to the river already have them, he says. Priya and her family of four, residing in North Paravur of Ernakulam district, kept a bag ready to move to their grandmothers house in the last week of July. The area where they live was flooded in 2018 and 2019 and they had to be rescued. Whenever the rain intensifies and it's August, we are ready to move out, says Priya. There are many others who dont have a place to move, but wait for a warning so that they can shift to temporary shelters. When it rains heavily we look for updates on the KSDMA Facebook page. Now we can easily understand when they talk about water levels in dams, when they will be opened, the amount of rain and the low-pressure formation. Even my aged parents have picked up jargons, says Albin AS from Idukki.

The News Minute 7 Aug 2022 11:06 am

Idukki dam opening: No cause for worry, says Industries Minister Rajeeve

Kerala Rains 2022 The Minister said that there was no need to worry as the water that will reach Periyar from Idukki Dam can be easily accommodated as the tributaries have been cleaned under 'Operation Vahini.' PTI File Photo | BIJU KALAYATHINA The Cheruthoni Dam of the Idukki reservoir is likely to be opened on August 7 to discharge excess water, Idukki district authorities said on Saturday, August 6, after the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which manages the dam, issued a red alert as the water-level has increased to 2,382.88 feet. The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet. The Idukki reservoir consists of two dams- the Arch Dam and the Cheruthoni Dam. The shutters of the latter were opened for the first time in 26 years in 2018 to mitigate the worst flood faced by the state in a century. Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said that water would be released from Idukki Dam to discharge excess water and that would be contained at the Idamalayar Dam downstream. We will be discharging some excess water tomorrow (Sunday) and plan to contain that water at Idamalayar Dam. I have called a meeting of the representatives of the local self-government bodies downstream today and will discuss the situation. Only a small quantity will be released, Roshy said. Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeeve said that there was no need for any concern with regard to the opening of the Idukki Dam to discharge the excess water, as the distributaries and streams from Periyar river have been cleaned to ensure the natural flow of water. Rajeeve chaired a meeting of officials to evaluate the situation after the Idukki district authority decided to open the Cheruthoni Dam of the Idukki reservoir on Sunday to discharge excess water.Under current circumstances, there is no need to worry. The water that will reach Periyar from Idukki dam can be easily accommodated as the tributaries have been cleaned under 'Operation Vahini.' Necessary steps have been taken to shift people from the banks of the Periyar. There is no need for any concern, Rajeeve told the media. The Minister said relief camps have been opened in all Taluks downstream. Food and drinking water facilities have also been ensured in the camps, he said. He said that people have been shifted from the banks of Chalakudy river as the water-level has gone up. Meanwhile, the water-level at the Mullaperiyar Dam, which is managed by the Tamil Nadu government, has increased to 138.15 feet and 10 shutters have been lifted, discharging 2,122 cusecs of water. However, the rains have subsided in Kerala which has witnessed heavy showers since July 31. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has now issued a yellow warning in Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts. A red warning indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while orange warning means very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm. A yellow warning means heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm. Landslides occurred at Kundala estate in Idukki on Saturday, destroying a temple and two shops in the locality. A total of 175 families from the locality have been shifted to relief camps. The road to Vattavada in the district has also been isolated after getting damaged in a minor landslide. The State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) had said there are 342 active camps across the State with Thrissur and Pathanamthitta having the most numbers 88 and 69 respectively. A total of 12,195 people are accommodated in the camps, SDMA had said. It also said that 36 houses were damaged fully while 282 houses were destroyed partially.

The News Minute 7 Aug 2022 10:00 am

Plea in Kerala HC questions delay in Ernakulam Collectors rain holiday announcement

Kerala Rains 2022 Parents were unhappy after Ernakulam District Collector Renu Raj announced a holiday for schools on August 4 only at 8.30 am, by which time many students had already left home. TNM Staff As Kerala continues to see unabated rains, the District Collector of Ernakulam came under fire for delay in announcing a holiday for students on Thursday, August 5. Parents were upset with Collector Renu Rajs delay in the announcement, as many children had already left for school, amid the major floods and landslides being reported in the state. A man has moved the Kerala High Court, seeking a report from the collector explaining the delay in making the announcement. The petition also sought directives to the state government to have guidelines in place for declaration of holidays under special circumstances. On Thursday, Renu Raj announced on her Facebook page at about 8.30 am that schools in the district would be shut that day, in light of sudden rains that inundated many places overnight. However, parents argued that as schools usually begin at 8, the collectors announcement came too late and many children had already left for school. The collector then said that those children who had already left for school could stay back there, and many schools had made arrangements to drop the students back home in the afternoon. The petition in the High Court said that the collectors announcement caused major confusion among parents and students. The petitioner called the move illogical, and asked the Supreme Court to order the state government to come up with guidelines on declaring public holidays so as to avoid confusion. Read: Kerala rain updates: Ernakulam Collector faces ire, Thrissur sees major evacuation The rains continue to wreak havoc in the state, with the famed Sabarimala temple which only opens for a few days in a year announcing restrictions for devotees. Devotees have been barred from entering the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Pathanamthitta in the wake of rising water levels in the river Pampa. From now on, people will not be allowed to enter the Sannidhanam from the river, and those in Sannidhanam are expected to climb down the hill by 6 pm. People living in low-lying areas or near banks of rivers have been warned to exercise caution, as dams across the state record dangerously high water levels. A total of 14 relief camps have been set up in the state and 5,849 people belonging to 1,732 families have been moved to the camps. Over a period of just seven days from July 29 to August 4 about 46 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents, the Kerala government said. Read: Kerala rains: Sabarimala pilgrimage suspended, CUET postponed due to red warning

The News Minute 5 Aug 2022 11:41 am

Rivers swell, Kerala governmentgets into 2018 flood mode

The official toll since Sunday is 20. While two people died in Kottayam, one person each died in Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur.

The New Indian Express 5 Aug 2022 8:54 am

Memories of 2018 flood hauntChalakudy residents

Withheavy rain lashing Thrissur district and Met Department issuing a red alert on Thursday, the residents in Chalakudy are fearing a repeat of 2018 flood situation.

The New Indian Express 5 Aug 2022 4:48 am

Kerala rain updates: Ernakulam Collector faces ire, Thrissur sees major evacuation

Kerala Rains 2022 The rains disrupted the day-to-day lives of the people as roads got flooded or caved in and many got displaced from their homes to relief camps. TNM Staff pti A red warning was declared in 8 districts of Kerala on Thursday, August 4 by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as rains continued to lash various parts of the state. The rains disrupted the day-to-day lives of the people as roads got flooded or caved in and many got displaced from their homes to relief camps. IMD issued a red warning for the day in the districts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kannur and an orange alert in remaining districts except for Thiruvananthapuram, where a yellow warning is in place. A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while orange alert means very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm. Here are a few updates from Kerala Chalakudy region in Thrissur district is facing heavy rains. The Thrissur Collector has asked all those people who were asked to move out of their houses during the 2018 and 2019 floods to vacate immediately. Many panchayats have already evacuated people, the directions are to move people to camps before 4 pm. The government has said that fishing folk should not venture out into the seas. The government has opened 101 relief camps and around 5000 people have shifted to the camps across the state. The district administration in Thrissur is evacuating people living near the Chalakudy river immediately. Ernakulam Collector Renu Raj has come under a lot of criticism as the announcement that educational institutions will remain shut on August 4 was made only at 8.30 am. Many children were stranded in schools, meals prepared for children were wasted. The Collectors Facebook page was filled with protests from parents. The Collector then said that if students have already reached their school, they can stay back. Many schools however made arrangements for children to be dropped back. Ernakulam district was given a red warning for August 4 and it has left people surprised that the Collector waited till morning to make a decision. Read: Kerala rains: Red warning in eight districts, downpour disrupts normal life The inclement weather in the state has resulted in water levels of various rivers like Pampa, Manimala and Achankovil in Pathanamthitta district rising close to or crossing danger levels. Read: Despite frequent flooding risk, Kochi still lacks drainage master plan In Kozhikode, the bad weather led to five flights from the Middle East which were bound to Calicut Airport being diverted to Cochin International Airport. Air Arabia flights from Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, Gulf Air flight from Bahrain, Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi and Qatar Airways flight from Doha were those diverted to Cochin, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said. Also read: 52nd Kerala Film Awards ceremony postponed due to heavy rainfall

The News Minute 4 Aug 2022 2:50 pm

Kerala rains: Red warning in eight districts, downpour disrupts normal life

Weather Rains continued to lash various parts of the state and disrupted the day-to-day lives of the people as roads got flooded or caved in and many were moved from their homes to relief camps. PTI IMAGE FOR REPRESENTATION A red warning was declared in eight districts of Kerala on Thursday, August 4, by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as rains continued to lash various parts of the state and disrupted the day-to-day lives of the people as roads got flooded or caved in. Many people were moved from their homes to relief camps. The IMD issued a red warning for the day in the districts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kannur. An orange warning is in place in all the other districts, except for Thiruvananthapuram, where a yellow warning is in place. A red warning indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange warning means very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm. A yellow warning means heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm. The inclement weather in the state resulted in water levels of various rivers like Pampa, Manimala and Achankovil in the Pathanamthitta district rising close to or crossing danger levels. Anticipating landslides and floods, several families were relocated to relief camps, district officials said. The roof of an anganwadi building collapsed in Konni taluk of Pathanamthitta district, officials said and added that there were no casualties. The water in some major dams and reservoirs of the state is also rising. The water in Idukki reservoir has reached blue warning storage levels and the water level in the Ponmudi dam in the Idukki district has reached the red warning storage level. Meanwhile, six shutters of the Malankara dam in Idukki were opened by 100 cm at 6 am, officials of the district said. The water level in the Mullaperiyar dam was at 135.35 feet at 11 am, according to Idukki district officials. Besides Pathanamthitta and Idukki, the districts of Kottayam, Thrissur and Kozhikode too witnessed heavy rainfall. In Thrissur, the fourth shutter of the Peringalkuthu dam was opened leading to a rise in the water level of the Chalakkudi river to dangerous levels prompting the district officials to ask people living on its banks to evacuate immediately. Even the shutters of Chimmini dam are expected to be raised further in view of the heavy rains in Thrissur district and as a result, the water in Kurumali river there which is already above warning levels is expected to rise further, officials said. In Kozhikode, bad weather led to five flights from the Middle East, which were bound to Calicut Airport, being diverted to Cochin International Airport. Air Arabia flights from Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain, an Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi and a Qatar Airways flight from Doha were among those diverted to Cochin, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said. In Kottayam, the Meenachil river overflowed leading to flooding of some roads. In some other parts of the state, TV channels showed visuals of roads that had cracked or caved as a result of the rains. A holiday was declared for schools and educational institutions in various districts of the state a day ago in view of the rains, but in Ernakulam the announcement was made only after 8 am on Thursday, leading to many students turning up in schools and then having to be sent back home. It led to widespread criticism of the Ernakulam District Collector on social media. Meanwhile, the Central Meteorological Department has predicted widespread rains in Kerala from August 4 to 8. Landslides and flash floods in Kerala triggered by heavy rains killed 18 people in the last few days, damaged hundreds of properties and displaced thousands to relief camps, the state government said on Wednesday.

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