Panel to file report on loss incurred in summer rain

The Central team led by Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Sailesh which arrived here to assess losses from summer rain held discussions with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and others on Friday.

Officials gave a presentation before the team on rainfall during summer, which was higher than in previous years. It caused considerable losses in Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, and Wayanad districts.

The State had submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking financial assistance in view of the losses worth Rs.141.65 crore, including damage to agriculture crops and houses. Kerala was not often getting Central assistance in tune with the losses in natural calamities.

Mr. Sailesh asked the government to prepare a separate report on losses suffered after the memorandum was submitted. The team would file its report on verification of the losses in seven days.

The team includes superintending engineers G. Balasubramaniam (Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation) and R.P. Singh (Ministry of Surface Transport), Mukesh Kumar (Central Finance Commission) and V.S. Prasanna (Ministry of Rural Development). A special meeting of the Cabinet on Friday allocated Rs.18 crore for providing urgent relief to people affected by sea erosion in nine coastal districts.

A week’s free ration will be provided to fishermen who suffered losses or could not go out for fishing because of the rough sea. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after a Cabinet meeting that urgent steps would be taken to repair damaged sea walls.

The Chief Minister said the major losses had occurred in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Malappuram districts. The Collectors had been asked to provide compensation for loss of coconut trees and properties. They had also been permitted to set up relief camps, if needed.

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