Rs 27,000 cr needed to rebuild Kerala: UN

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Thiruvananthapuram: The UN's Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report has estimated that Rs 27,000 crore was required in the next five years for the reconstruction of the flood-ravaged state. The figure is close to the state government initial loss estimate of Rs 20,000-25,000 crore. Later, the state had revised the loss estimate to Rs 38,000 crore.

The draft of the report was submitted to chief secretary Tom Jose by UN acting resident coordinator and World Health Organisation (WHO) India head Dr Henk Bekedam here on Thursday.

The sector-wise rebuilding costs worked out in the report are: roads and bridges - Rs 8554 crore; housing - Rs 5659 crore; fisheries - Rs 4499 crore; livelihood restoration - Rs 3903 crore; irrigation - Rs 1484; water and sanitation - Rs 1331 crore.

The report recommends that the state should be transformed into the country's first green state that was both environment-friendly and disaster-literate. The report also puts forward exemplary global reconstruction models for the state to draw inspiration from. It is also the first such report that the UN has prepared for a state in India employing global standards. The report was prepared on the basis of field notes provided by 72 experts fanned out across 10 affected districts.

Nonetheless, government sources continue to maintain that the UN figures reflect only the losses, and that it had still not factored in the economic deceleration. A source said that paddy and other agricultural crops had been washed away and plantations were damaged by landslides. The unorganized sector, which forms nearly 70 per cent of the economy, has screeched to a halt. The real estate sector is as good as dead. Traditional and cottage industries, too, have been badly affected.

Earlier, finance minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac had said that the gross state domestic product (GSDP) would fall by at least two percentage points.

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