Kerala rains: CM Pinarayi Vijayan thanks Central govt and Opposition for ‘constructive roles’

The Kerala government has stepped up its efforts to mobilise financial assistance from various sources

Updated - August 16, 2018 06:55 pm IST

Published - August 14, 2018 03:20 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Taking stock:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas in Kerala on Sunday.

Taking stock: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas in Kerala on Sunday.

The State government has stepped up its efforts to mobilise financial assistance from various sources to provide relief to the stricken families in the flood-affected areas and take up the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure including roads, bridges and buildings.

The State Cabinet which met here on Tuesday decided to call off the state- sponsored onam week celebrations and divert the allocation to the flood relief fund. It urged government and public sector employees to donate two days wages to the fund.

A Cabinet sub-committee has been set up to oversee the relief and reconstruction efforts.

The meeting decided to request banks to waive the servce charges and commission on transfer of money to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund. It recommended a one-year moratorium on loans availed by residents in the flood- hit areas.

Briefing the media after the meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a total of 443 villages in Kerala had been declared flood-affected. The initial assessment of the losses caused by the recent spell of monsoon rains was pegged at Rs.8,316 crore. As many as 38 persons have been reported dead in rain- related incidents and four missing. More than 20,000 houses have been destroyed and about 10,000 km of PWD roads damaged, in addition to bridges and other infrastructure. Several places were isolated by floods and water sources contaminated. Landslips occurred at 215 locations across the State and widespread crop loss has been reported.

Most of the rivers were in spate and 27 dams opened to let out excess water. Mr.Vijayan said the government had urged the Centre to send a new team to assess the worst monsoon havoc in Kerala since 1924. He said 30,000 people were still accommodated in 439 relief camps.

Lauding the role by rescue workers and relief teams, he called for more donations to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund to help the government take up the long, painful process of reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Highlighting the constructive role of the Central government and the Opposition in tackling the crisis, he said it had lent strength to the government and lessened the magnitude of the tragedy. Mr.Vijayan thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh for extending help to the State government and announcing an emergency assistance of Rs.100 cr. He added that the State would submit a fresh memorandum to the Centre seeking more assistance in tune with the scale of the disaster.

The Cabinet approved an immediate assistance of Rs.10,000 for each of the families displaced by the floods. it also ratified a financial aid of Rs.4,00,000 for families that had lost their houses and ₹10 lakhs for those who had lost both ther house and property.

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