Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran has said that the State government will give Rs.1 lakh each as emergency aid to the families of those killed in rain-related incidents in the past few days.

At a press conference at the Ernakulam guest house on Saturday, Mr. Divakaran said the government had informed the Union government of the extent of damage in the agriculture sector. The issue was raised in Parliament. He said the State government had demanded that the Centre send a team to assess the damage within two days, unlike in the past when Central teams often visited well after the calamity.

Mr. Divakaran said the State was facing an unprecedented crisis. A Cabinet meeting had been convened on July 24 to discuss ways to fight the problems caused by the monsoon. He said that the State government had taken steps on a war footing to face the challenge. A Minister each had been entrusted with supervision of relief works in the 14 districts. The government, Mr. Divakaran said, is looking forward to face the challenge in a united way irrespective of party affiliations. Round-the-clock control rooms have been opened in all 14 districts, besides a control room at the State level to coordinate the relief works, he said.