Interest-free loans for flood victims to start lives afresh

The government is considering a proposal to provide interest-free loans up to Rs. 1 lakh for families in flood-hit areas to return home and start life afresh. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said this was one of the initiatives on the anvil to provide succour for people who had suffered heavy losses in the floods. Briefing the media after a review meeting here on Thursday, he said the government had initiated discussions with banks to provide easy loans to help families recover from the trauma of the devastation caused by the floods. A detailed rehabilitation plan was being drawn up and moves were on to clean up houses and repair or replace damaged equipment. Mr. Vijayan, who visited relief camps in Chengannur, Kozhencherry, Alappuzha, Paravur, and Chalakudy earlier in the day, said displaced families had started returning home from shelters. He said District Collectors had been asked to relocate relief camps from schools to other buildings. Housing projects Efforts were on to prepare housing projects for the rehabilitation of flood victims. Care would be taken to avoid disaster-prone areas while selecting sites, he added. Mr. Vijayan said 10,40,688 people were housed in 2,774 relief camps on Thursday as against 12,10,453 inmates in 3,314 camps on Wednesday. The damaged power infrastructure was partially restored with 49 of the 50 substations, 13,477 of the 16,158 transformers and 21.61 lakh of the 25.6 lakh service connections repaired. As many as 60,593 houses and 32,626 wells had been cleaned and steps taken to dispose of animal carcasses.

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