A Central team, deputed to study the rain havoc in the State and recommend assistance, will arrive in Kochi on Saturday.

Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management Adoor Prakash told the media here on Thursday that the visit of the team was finalised after discussions with Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran.

The seven-member team would be headed by Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs V.Vumlunmang.

The Minister said the team would visit Alappuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode in two groups. They would also be requested to visit Thiruvananthapuram.

Mr. Prakash said the State had sought Rs.481 crore for relief operations and payment of compensation. However, as per Central norms, the losses would amount to only Rs.221 crore.

He noted that the State had received 70 per cent more rainfall than normal this year. So far, 131 persons had died in monsoon-related accidents. As many as 891 villages had been flooded and over two lakh people had been moved to 715 relief camps. Land slips occurred at eight places.

He said 30 relief camps continued to function. As many as 549 houses had been destroyed and 9,499 houses were damaged. Crop losses occurred in 8,482 hectares. The loss on this count alone exceeded Rs.150 crore.

In Kuttanad

The losses were the highest in Kuttanad. The government had released Rs. 65.85 crore for relief work to the districts, including Rs.33.82 crore for Alappuzha district.

He had discussed preparations to be made for the visit of the Central team with Collectors this morning through video conferencing.

He said the Union Minister for Home Affairs had informed him that the Centre had cleared Rs.107 crore for payment of assistance to people hit by drought during summer.

The State had sought Rs.7,888 crore. As per Central norms, it was eligible for Rs. 462 crore.

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