Floods may cause damage of Rs 20,000 crore, says Assocham

Assocham says Kerala witnessing worst-ever floods since 1924, phase of natural fury quite prolonged.

New Delhi: Kerala floods could cause damage of upto Rs 20,000 crore, said industry chamber Assocham on Sunday.

“In the state’s Rs 8 lakh crore gross domestic product, tourism and agriculture, mostly rice, pepper, cardamom, cashew, tea, coffee, coconut, contribute about 10 per cent each. Then, the internal and external trade contribute a lot. The external trade not only comprises exports of cash crops and other industrial goods and services from Kerala, but also commercial activities from ports like Kochi and three international ports from the state. At this point of time, all these components of the state GDP are in a state of total chaos and destruction,” it said.

Assocham said that Kerala which is among the states receiving maximum of remittances from the non-resident Indians, particularly in the Gulf, would look up to its people abroad to raise their level of remittances to support families, though it may not be enough.

It said, Kerala is not only witnessing the worst-ever floods and devastation since 1924, the phase of natural fury has been quite prolonged.

“The prolonged impact not only hampers the relief and rehabilitation, it takes long to re-build even the basic infrastructure like roads, re-erecting of electric poles, broad band cables, clearing the roads in the mountain region of the mud and landslides . Besides re-building of houses would take weeks and months. As far as the economic impact is concerned, while the official agencies would arrive at their own estimates, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the loss could even be Rs 20,000 crore, as things stand today,” said Assocham.

According to the official documents like the Economic Survey of the state, in agriculture the cropping pattern is dominated by cash crops constituting 63 per cent of the total cropped area while food crops consisting of rice, tapioca and pulses account for about 10 per cent of the state’s farm products, it said.

Same is true about tourism as the state had become a sought after destination for international tourists with several beaches and a wide range of geo-ecology.

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