Interim Report of NCHRO on the Devastation caused by the Ockhi cyclone in Kerala
A team of NCHRO activists led by NCHRO chairperson, Prof A Marx, visited on Jan 1, 2018 some of the fishing hamlets worst affected by the Ockhi cyclone that caused extensive damages on some of the coastal districts in Kerala. Met some of the victims who have lost their near and dear in the cyclone and also some parish priests who have collected the details of the losses in their area.
Everybody we met accused the governments and other government agencies of disaster management that they have not learnt any lesson on Tsunami disaster management. We are shocked to learn on the lapses on the part of the central and state governments which makes to wonder whether the governments didn’t consider the fisher people as their citizen.
There is a total failure in the rescue operations. The cyclone warning was not given in the proper time. As far as Trivandrum district is considered most of the fishermen who were affected by this cyclone had went to the sea only on 29th Nov and if they were warned at least one day before we might have saved almost all lives. Even after the cyclone the rescue operations were not done properly and the coast guards were not trained enough for rescue operations.
The sufferings of the fishing community is not sufficiently acknowledged not only by the state agencies but in all levels.
We appreciate the church which in collaboration with the fishing community has played a remarkable role in rescue operations and post calamity assistance to the people. We understand that as of today about 149 people are missing. If any of them were safe and alive they would have returned before Christmas.
We strongly urge the governments to make necessary amendments in the rules, and release the compensation announced immediately without waiting for seven years. We also urge that the compensation amount should be raised to 25 lakhs and the compensation should be extended to those who have suffered with severe physical injuries and mental shocks.
Almost all these families have lost their earning member and needs immediate support for their survival. The government should immediately provide a permanent government job to one member from each family that had lost the bread winner. These families should also be relieved from their debt burdens and we urge the government to write of all the educational and bank loans of the family.
As far as the future preventive measures we urge the central government that a separate ministry should be established for fishing in the central cabinet and that the fishing community should be included in the scheduled tribe category.
Necessary advancements in tropical cyclone forecasting technologies should be incorporated and fisher folk should be warned about cyclones at least four days before. Helipads with at least two rescue helicopters should be established in Trivandrum and Cochin seashores.
Fishermen should be provided with satellite phones with fixed frequency connections such that they can contact a nearby rescuing agency when help is needed.
The Interim Report were Submitted to
1) The Hon’ble President of India, New Delhi.
2) The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, New Delhi.
3) The Hon’ble Union Home Minister, New Delhi.
4) Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Defense Minister.
5) Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, Kerala.
6) Smt.Mercykutty Amma, Kerala Fisheries, Traditional Industries Minister.
7) The Director General, INDIAN COAST GUARD, New Delhi.
8) The Director General, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), New Delhi.
9) National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi.
10) The Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi.
11) Shri P. Vijayan IPS, IGP Coastal Security, Kerala.
12) State Human Rights Commission, Kerala.
13) Shri B Pradhan, IAS, Assistant Secretary (Admin & Capacity Building and Training), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi.
14) Shri A.K.Sanghi,ITS, JS (Mitigation, IT & Comn), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi.
15) Lt Col Rahul Devrani, Joint Advisor (RR & NDRF), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi.
Interim Report Team Members:-
1) Prof . A. Marx, Chairperson, NCHRO.
2) Reny Ayline, National Secretary, NCHRO.
3) Vilayodi Shivankutty, State President, Kerala Chapter, NCHRO.
4) Ko.Sugumaran, Exco Member, NCHRO.
5) Shanawas, State Secretary, NCHRO Kerala Chapter.
6) Ajmal Manakade, Disrict Secretary, NCHRO Trivandrum.
7) Naushad, District Joint Secretary, NCHRO Trivandrum.