Flood loss amounts to Rs 25,000 cr: World Bank-ADB report


S. N. Jayaprakash

Thiruvananthapuram: The World Bank – ADB (Asian Development Bank) team have assessed that the damages from the deluge in Kerala amounts to Rs 25,000 crores (3.5 billion). About Rs 7000 crore in this amount is likely to be granted as long-term loan from the two agencies.

The representatives of World Bank and ADB presented the figures of loss caused due to the damage of houses, basic amenities and other essentials before chief secretary Tom Jose and department secretaries. The agencies handed over policies for rebuilding of the state and the recommendations for the short-term and long-term programmes.

The state government had estimated a loss of Rs 35,000-40,000 crores. However, the agencies have informed that only a primary report has been prepared now and the final report will be prepared within weeks. Once the report is finalised, the director board of the agencies will decide about the loan.

Normally, the repayment period of loan granted by World Bank is 30 years. The present interest rate is 1.75 percent. However, the period and interest rate of the loan for rebuilding the state has not been determined.

A mission will be formed under the supervision of these agencies in the model of Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) for accomplishing the rebuilding works using the amount granted by World Bank and ADB.

The government sources said that the nature and structure of the mission will be determined once the chief minister returns to Kerala from US. The agencies assessed the losses by visiting flood-hit areas in ten districts and holding discussions with collectors.

The report was presented under the leadership of World Bank Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist Deepak Singh and ADB India Resident Mission Officer-in-charge Ashok Srivastava. The representatives of International Finance Corporation (IFC) under the World Bank and United Nations also attended the presentation.

The World Bank and ADB has recommended that a special policy is required for the post-flood rebuilding of Kerala. Also a special authority should be formed for the eco-sensitive zones like Kuttanad, Kole wetlands and hilly regions.

Recommendations

  • A land utilisation policy should be formed in panchayat level in order to reduce the impact of natural calamities.
  • Permanent basic facilities need to be designed considering possibility of climate change.
  • The construction policies of panchayats also need to be changed in order to build houses that can survive calamities.
  • Technical studies should be staged to take an integrated approach with regard to the wetlands, mangroves and biodiversity areas.
  • A special institution is required to arrange insurance coverage for all sectors including tourism and industry to reduce the losses caused by calamities.

Estimated expense for rebuidling

  • Houses - Rs 2600 crore
  • Urban infrastructure – Rs 2170 crore
  • Rural infrastructure – Rs 5400 crore
  • Irrigation – Rs 1600 crore
  • National, state highways – Rs 8700 crore
  • Other essentials – Rs 4000 crore

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