The State has suffered a crop loss of Rs.53 crore in heavy rain and floods this year. Of this, Wayanad district alone accounts for Rs.20 crore. This is bound to increase as the floodwaters recede, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Thursday.
Talking to the media after a special meeting of the Cabinet that discussed natural calamities, he said the Cabinet had decided to make an additional State contribution of Rs.50,000 to the solatium being paid to the dead with Central funds, if the dead person (he or she) was an earning member. Families of earning members will get Rs.2 lakh and others Rs.1.5 lakh, granted by the Centre.
The State had earlier increased the compensation for loss of houses to Rs.1 lakh. The definition of fully damaged houses for this purpose had been expanded to include houses rendered unsafe. A compensation of up to Rs.35,000 wil be paid for partially damaged houses.
Mr. Chandy said the State would press the Centre again to include sea erosion and death by lightening in the list of calamities eligible for Central assistance. These are calamities over which people have little control. An additional allocation of rice has also been requested from Centre. The Cabinet decided to grant free rations to fishermen and coir workers in coastal areas and tribes during monsoon. Two weeks’ free rations will be provided to those displaced by floods. Besides rations, those in relief camps set up by the government will get food and medicines.
The government has set up 44 camps to where 2,432 families have been moved. As many as 374 villages in the State, including 71 coastal villages, have been affected by heavy rain. The Chief Minister, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, and Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan will hold videoconferences with the Collectors on Friday to review relief measures. He said that Kerala had received 66 per cent excess rainfall.