Rajnath announces Rs 100 crore immediate aid for Kerala ‘very serious’ after floods
Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who carried out an aerial survey of Kerala’s flood-affected areas on Sunday, called the floods “unprecedented” and assured the state of all help from the Centre to meet the “very serious situation”.
Even as rains resumed on Sunday after a brief respite, the water level in swollen Idukki reservoir fell to below 2,400 feet, while the toll after three days of continuous rainfall that has left a trail of destruction over half the state however remained at 37 with no further deaths reported.
Announcing immediate aid of Rs 100 crore, Singh, who inspected the Idukki and Ernakulam districts, said the rains and floods had caused “massive damage” to the farm sector and infrastructure like roads and power. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister K J Alphons and senior officials also accompanied him.
“Kerala is facing an unprecedented flood situation. It is unprecedented because never before in the history of independent India has Kerala witnessed such massive floods,” Singh told reporters here after reviewing the situation with Vijayan, Alphons, state ministers and senior officials.
“I understand the suffering of the people of Kerala from the present crisis. Since assessment of the damage will take time, I hereby announce immediate relief as advance of Rs 100 crore,” he said.
The state government submitted a memorandum to Singh, seeking urgent sanction of Rs 1,220 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) to meet the situation.
In the memorandum, the chief minister said preliminary estimates suggested that Kerala suffered a loss of Rs 8,316 crore in the rains, floods and landslides.
Singh said that just before he came to the state, he sanctioned release of the second installment of Rs 80.25 crore in advance for the State Disaster Relief Fund, after the first provided last month.
“The Centre is extremely sensitive to the needs of the Kerala at this critical juncture,” he said.
The minister also visited a relief camp at Elanthikkara in Paravur Taluk in Ernakulam and heard the grievances of people who lost their homes and land in the floods.
He also promised that further National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams would be despatched to the state, apart from the 14 already deployed, if needed.
Meanwhile, the red alert will continue in eight districts, including the most-affected Idukki and Wayanad, as the met office predicted heavy rains for two more days. Over half of the state is flood-affected and officials said this was the worst natural calamity after the 1924 deluge.
“It is an unprecedented natural disaster. We face an uphill task in rebuilding devastated areas. We need help from all quarters,” Vijayan had said after his aerial survey of the worst-hit Idukki and Wayanad districts and visit to relief camps in Wayanad on Saturday.
(With PTI inputs)