State government sanctions fund; Kozhikode’s claim was Rs.64 crore

The State government has sanctioned a special fund of Rs.3.5 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to the district administration to tackle monsoon-related havoc. The district administration had claimed a loss of Rs.64 crore during the Central team’s visit to Kozhikode.

The newly sanctioned amount, based on a request from the District Collector, will be released shortly by the Disaster Management Department. Of the sanctioned amount, Rs.3 crore would be devoted for the maintenance of collapsed roads and bridges.

According to officials, the fund is mainly for repairs reported before April. The amount is now released based on a preliminary estimate submitted by the Collector to the Disaster Management Department on April 23. Funds claimed by the district administration afterwards will be considered in the next phase.

As per the latest loss estimate, no fewer than 35 houses have been destroyed in the heavy rain. The number of partially damaged houses is 739. According to the detailed report of District Collector C.A. Latha, the total loss of these houses alone will come to Rs.2.89 crore.

The records handed over to the Central team show that the total damage in the agriculture, irrigation and fisheries sectors is over Rs.16 crore. Along with this, the Public Works Department and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) estimate a total loss of Rs.3 crore. In the absence of special relief funds, the district has been depending on its own revenue resources for tackling monsoon calamities. Revenue officials said they were allotted only Rs.50 lakh as the initial advance to face monsoon disasters. With this, they had to run relief camps, supply food for evacuee families, and ex gratia to the bereaved families.

The Revenue Department is hopeful of getting a deserving share from the Union government. “We provided them documents and images, substantiating our claims, during their visit. It is sure to evoke a favourable response in the report,” an officer of the Revenue Department said.

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