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Man who lost house in Kerala floods ends life over ''delay'' in obtaining relief

Man who lost house in Kerala floods ends life over delay in obtaining relief

Wayanad(Ker): Anguished over the alleged delay in receiving flood relief from the Kerala government, a 42-year-old man committed suicide in Wayanad district, police said on Tuesday.

Sanal Kumar, a native of Thrikaipatta in Meppadi near here was found hanging inside the temporary shelter built by his friends and local people on Monday.

He was among the hundreds who had lost their homes in the August 2019 floods.

His home, built on a three-cent plot, had been damaged partially in 2018 floods and completely in the 2019 deluge.

Family members of the deceased alleged that it was due undue delay on the part of the authorities in allotting funds for rebuilding his house that drove Kumar to take the extreme step.

Kumar was hoping to get a house under the Life Mission project, sources said.

A relative said Kumar had only 3 cents of land and had a lot of debts.

Even the Rs 10,000 assistance promised by the state government for the flood affected, had not reached him.

Since the past two years he had filed several applications for assistance and apporached many revenue authroties for the promised government assistance, but it never came, the locals alleged.

According to K K Sahad, president of Meppadi Panchayat the deceased had some other financial issues and it was not the delay in rehabilitation that made him commit suicide.

"It is true that he was not included in the first list of beneficiaries under the LIFE project as he had to have "pattayam" (land records) for his land.

However, he was included in the second list, thanks to the dilution in the norms that possession was enough for those who had no 'pattayam' for their property. The amount of Rs 4 lakhs was sanctioned for him, but was delayed a bit due to some technical issues."

Wayanad MLA C K Saseendran described it as an "extremely sad" development.

As Kumar had some difficulties in producing the land recrods, the authroties had been unable to include his name in the LIFE housing scheme in the first phase.

The matter has been broght before the notice of the revenue authorities, he said.

Vythiri Tahsildar, Abdul Hameed, visited Kumar's relatives this morning as the family members of the deceased wanted his presence before the body was taken for post-mortem.

"There was some technical issues with regard to the land as it falls within the adhivasi reserve. But they were occupying it for long.

However, the issue has been sorted out and that his family members would be getting the eligibility amount of four lakhs," Hameed said.

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