Indian Catholic News

Kerala Church urges PM to visit Ockhi affected areas

Vicar-General of Trivandrum archdiocese Fr. Pereira said a visit by the PM would instill confidence among the fishing community.

Uprooted trees in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday as Cyclone Ockhi left a trail of destruction. Photo: HT

The Kerala Region Latin Catholic Council (KRLCC) has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the areas that have been affected by cyclone Ockhi and reiterated its demand to declare the disaster a national calamity.

Addressing a press conference here on Dec 5, Vicar-General of Thiruvananthapuram Archdiocese Fr Eugene H. Pereira said a visit by the Prime Minister would instil confidence among the fishing community.

He also called for a special package of ?1,000 crore at the earliest.

He pointed out that there was lack of clarity regarding the number of those who were missing. Of the 375 fishermen who had put to sea from Thiruvananthapuram, 162 have returned and around 50 have been found dead. Over 200 were yet to be rescued.

Of this, 108 men had gone out in traditional boats and there was grave concern regarding their fate, Fr Pereira said.

Further resources of the Indian Air Force and Navy must be mobilised to bring them ashore. The existing norms pertaining to compensation must be relaxed while implementing relief measures for those affected.

Lashing out at the government for the alleged lapses in disaster management, Fr. Pereira demanded that an all-party meeting be convened soon to review the situation. An all-party delegation should submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister.

Moreover, a detailed project proposal must also be submitted to the Centre for a long-lasting solution to deal with the problem of frequent sea erosion that affected the coastal areas.

Source: Hindu

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