Centre has approved ₹ 80 cr aid to Kerala to deal with flooding: Rijiju

PTI

Minister of State for Home  Kiren Rijiju

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on July 21, 2018 promised more central assistance to Kerala to deal with “unprecedented rains and floods”, a day after Rs 80 crore were sanctioned to the state as initial aid.

A central government’s inter-ministerial team headed by a joint secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs will be sent to Kerala to assess the quantum of damages and losses occurred in various sectors due to the rains and floods, he said.

Officers from the Niti Ayog and various ministries including Finance, Agriculture, Health and Road Transport will be part of the team, Rijiju said while visiting flood affected areas in Kottayam.

The Union minister of state for home held discussions with Kerala PWD Minister G Sudhakaran, Agriculture Minister Sunil Kumar and state government officers headed by Chief Secretary Tom Jose after visiting flood hit areas of Alappuzha district.

“The Centre and the state will work together to provide relief to the people affected by the calamity,” he said.

The state government has Rs 203 crore in its kitty and the Centre approved Rs 80 crore as immediate relief to deal with the situation.

He said both the Centre and the state have fixed assistance of Rs 4 lakh to kith and kin of the people who died in to the calamity.

“We have visited many relief camps and this is one of the very bad situations which Kerala had to face because of unprecedented rains.

“This is the situation in which the state government and the central government must come together,” Rijiju said.

The central team is satisfied with the manner in which the relief camps are managed by the local administration, he said.

The minister said there were predictions for more rains from July 23 and “We have to be more prepared to face it”.

The central government team headed by Rijiju and accompanied by Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam arrived in Kochi this morning.

“We will extend whatever possible help from the Government of India because Kerala has witnessed unprecedented rains and floods.

“We are with the people of Kerala and the central government will do whatever is required,” he said on his arrival at the airport in Kochi.

Meanwhile, a defence spokesperson said the Southern Naval Command (SNC) has sent five teams to Alappuzha district to assist the civil administration in relief work.

The teams were dispatched after a request by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in view of widespread inundation and waterlogging in the state.

Each team comprises five members and is equipped with inflatable gemini boats and other equipment including diving sets, the spokesperson said.

The SNC is ready to offer assistance with food and medical services if required by the administration, he added.

The toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala has gone up to 41 since the onset of monsoon on May 29.

As many as 1.18 lakh people have taken refuge in 606 relief camps across Kerala as rains continued to batter several parts of the state.

(PTI)