States step forward to help flood-ravaged Kerala as death toll mounts
A number of states across the country came forward to help Kerala in its hour of need as rain-related casualties mounted steadily on Saturday. At least 23 additional deaths were reported through the day, taking the death toll in the current spell of rain to over 200.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced emergency financial aid of Rs 20 crore, besides food and essentials, for the state on Saturday. His government has also promised to send food and other items to Kerala in collaboration with various agencies and NGOs immediately.
Tamil Nadu has pledged another Rs 5 crore towards providing flood relief aid to its neighbouring state. “We had already extended Rs 5 crore to Kerala. Now, after observing the extent of havoc wreaked in the neighbouring state, we have decided to contribute another Rs 5 crore. Besides this, we have sent relief materials – including rice, milk powder, milk and clothes – worth around Rs 2 crore,” said local administration minister SP Velumani.
Further north, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar extended financial aid of Rs 10 crore to the flood-ravaged state. “Nobody knows better about the miseries caused by natural calamities than the people of Bihar. I am sending a small contribution of Rs 10 crore from the Bihar chief minister’s relief fund for the purpose,” Kumar wrote in a letter addressed to his Kerala counterpart, Pinarayi Vijayan.
While Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das extended Rs 5 crore as aid to Kerala, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the release of Rs 10 crore and Rs 15 crore from their relief funds respectively.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik also did his part in helping Kerala by granting monetary aid of Rs 5 crore and rushing a 245-member team of fire personnel to assist in relief-and-rescue operations.
Watch: Aerial visuals of flooded Kalady, rains continue to lash Kerala
Four states had lent a helping hand to the flood-ravaged state on Friday. While Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced monetary aid of Rs 25 crore for Kerala, Punjab and Delhi premiers Amarinder Singh and Arvind Kejriwal provided immediate assistance to the tune of Rs 10 crore each. Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, for his part, announced financial aid of up to Rs 5 crore.
Meanwhile, monetary assistance continued to pour in from other quarters too. Kejriwal announced on Saturday that all Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers, MLAs and MPs will donate a month’s salary to Kerala in view of the natural calamity.
The Congress also asked its elected representatives to contribute a month’s salary to the Kerala relief fund, and demanded that the floods be declared as a “national calamity”. These decisions were taken at a meeting of Congress general secretaries, party in-charges of states, legislative party leaders and state unit chiefs, presided over by party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah promised to donate a month’s salary for relief efforts in the southern state too. He also asked state governor NN Vohra to send “some assistance” to victims of the flood.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an interim relief of Rs 500 crore earlier this morning.
(With agency inputs)