Kochi: Relief material from different parts of the country has started arriving at the port here to provide some succour to the people of Kerala devastated by unprecedented floods in about a century, officials said today. A Cochin Port Trust official said Naval Ship INS Deepak, carrying relief material from Mumbai, arrived with about 800 tonnes of fresh water and nearly 18 tonnes of provisions. Fresh water is being ferried on two barges to the affected areas. Trucks carrying provisions are being rushed for distribution, he said.
The official said another consignment of relief material sent by the shipping fraternity under an initiative of the Ministry of Shipping arrived at Vallarpadam. A vessel with 50000 MT of crude from Mumbai has been diverted by BPCL to the Cochin port to meet the fuel demand of Kerala. Incessant rains over the last few days have blurred the distinction between Kerala’s backwaters and roads with sheets of water covering the landscape, but the state is facing shortage of potable water. Several fuel stations in the state are also reported to have run dry.
The Cochin Port Trust has set up a relief camp for the affected people from Koonamavu and Vypeen at Sir Robert Bristow Memorial School on Willingdon Island. Doctors from port trust hospital examined the inmates and provided them medicines. Volunteers comprising the port staff and their family members, customs and CISF are lending a helping hand at the camp.
Relief material mobilized by all major ports under the shipping ministry are being stored at Tuticorin port in Tamil Nadu and are expected to reach the Cochin port in the coming days, the official said. The Cochin Port Trust had decided to contribute Rs 62 lakh to the Chief Ministers Relief Fund.