KL This Week: No Fresh Nipah Cases for 8 Days, Relaxations in Containment Zones
Image by R Prakash.
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the important developments from across Kerala in the past week, including the absence of fresh Nipah cases for eight consecutive days, a protest by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) against the policies of the Union government affecting the growth of the state, the arrival of conflict-hit Manipur students for continuing their education, and flash floods and landslides in Palakkayam in Palakkad district.
NIPAH VIRUS: RELIEF AS NO NEW POSITIVE CASES REPORTED
The containment measures in several wards of local bodies in Kozhikode district were relaxed after more test results turned negative. There have been no new positive cases for eight days in a row as of September 23. The rigorous containment measures, tracking, and tracing by the Department of Health have helped in restricting the spread of the deadly, brain-affecting virus.
As of September 23, 981 people were on the contact list and were under isolation for 21 days.
The Kozhikode district administration has withdrawn the restrictions imposed in the wards of nine village panchayats in Vadakara taluk, which were announced as containment zones after more tests turned negative. Relaxations in containment measures have been extended to all the wards in Feroke Municipality and seven wards of Kozhikode Corporation.
Veena George, the minister for health, women and child welfare, announced that community surveillance, in association with the Local Self Government Department (LSGD), and Forest and Animal Husbandry Department will continue in Kozhikode district.
The educational institutions are set to restart the regular classes from September 25, after a week of online mode of education. The institutions located in the containment zones will continue in the online mode.
The demand for a Bio Safety Level-4 (BSL) lab in Kozhikode in the wake of the frequent Nipah outbreaks may soon materialise with the Union government granting approval for setting up the lab. The under-construction BSL-3 lab would be upgraded to level 4, for quick testing of the virus.
MANIPUR STUDENTS ARRIVE IN KERALA
The first batch of 23 students, from the conflict-hit Manipur, arrived in Kerala to continue their higher education. The first batch of seven students was welcomed by K K Shailaja Teacher, the former health minister at the Kannur airport. The Students Federation of India (SFI) received the Manipur students on the university campus.
Around 70 students from Manipur, belonging to the Kuki community have expressed willingness to continue their education in Kerala, after the Syndicate of the university resolved to allocate seats for the students of Manipur, affected by the violence which began on May 3, 2023.
The students are granted time to submit their educational qualification certificates since the situation in Manipur is not conducive to immediate submission. The university has decided to provide free education and accommodation to the students arriving from Manipur.
LDF PROTESTS AGAINST UNION GOVERNMENT’S POLICIES
The constituent parties of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) held a protest in front of the Raj Bhavan, the Governor's residence, on September 21 against the policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government and the deadlock with the Governor regarding the provision of assent to important bills passed in the state Legislative Assembly.
The LDF convenor, E P Jayarajan, accused the BJP-led government of financially strangulating the government of Kerala by refusing its eligible financial share and the right to borrow. He also accused Governor Arif Mohammad Khan of refusing to sign the bills, violating the constitutional mandate.
The LDF leaders questioned the silence of the United Democratic Front (UDF), the opposition grouping, on the injustice meted out to the state.
FLASH FLOODS, LANDSLIPS IN PALAKKAD
Sudden rains in the Mannarkkad area in Palakkad district resulted in minor landslides in the Pandanmala hills, leading to the relocation of three families from the locality on September 22. Several houses and commercial establishments were inundated due to the heavy rains in the Palakkayam area in the district.
Heavy rains continue to lash several parts of the state, as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued yellow alerts in nine southern districts on September 22, while five districts were issued a similar alert the next day. The water levels in the irrigation and power generation dams across the state have improved over the last couple of weeks.
ALL-WOMEN SFI PANEL ELECTED UNOPPOSED
The all-women panel, fielded by the SFI in E K Nayanar Memorial Government College in Kasargod district, has been elected unopposed for the first time. The college located in Elerithattu, a small town in the Kasargod district has a large number of girl students.
Eight major posts including the chairperson, vice chairperson, general secretary, joint secretary and Kannur University union council member, besides other posts including magazine editor, fine arts secretary, and sports captain are all women and were elected unopposed. The college has a strong presence of the SFI and has been winning the student union elections unopposed for the last seven consecutive years.
The SFI has won a majority in approximately 50% of the colleges affiliated with Kannur University in college union elections.
KOCHI METRO RAIL EARNS PROFIT FOR THE FIRST TIME
The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), since its inception has gained an operating profit of Rs 5.35 crores in the financial year 2022-23. The massive spike in daily ridership to 91,742 has helped the organisation increase its fare box revenue (revenue from train operation) by 485%. The non-fare box revenue – the income from other operations – has also registered an increase.
After a drop in ridership during the pandemic to below 6,000 per day, the ridership has witnessed a steady increase. With one more station connecting the southern part of the city expected to be operational before the year's end, the KMRL is expecting a further increase in ridership. The works for the second phase of the metro are underway between Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Kakkanad, the software hub in the city.
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