Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Wednesday once again slammed those who were indulging in misinformation campaigns against the Chief Minister Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) at a time when the state grapples with torrential floods and landslides. On Monday, the Kerala Police said it had recorded 19 cases in connection with various fake campaigns on social media against flood relief and rescue. Additionally, a bank account claiming to collect funds on behalf of the CMDRF has been blocked by the State Bank of India.
“CMDRF is transparent and anyone can examine it. The money collected go to people deserving of help and relief. The CMDRF is audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and accounts are presented in the state legislative Assembly. The details of the money we spent on different aspects of flood relief are public on the website. The money collected for flood relief is only spent for that purpose,” the chief minister said at an official press briefing, adding that stringent action would be taken against those involved in misinformation campaigns against the government.
“We should take care not to get lost in such misinformation campaigns,” he remarked.
Over the course of the last year, the CMDRF has received Rs 4360.31 crores out of which Rs 2276.37 crores have been spent and Rs 730.05 crores kept for ‘committed expenditure.’ This includes the accounts of last year’s floods. Since August 14, 2018, donations to the tune of Rs 206.57 crores have been received in the CMDRF in the form of electronic payments on the portal. The CM said a total of 6,92,966 families were given emergency compensation of Rs 10,000 each from the CMDRF last year.
The chief minister lauded the efforts of all those who have come together and pitched help to those staying at flood-relief camps across the state. “Malayalis can be proud of the unity that we have displayed so far,” he said.
He also spelled out details of the compensation packages for those affected by the calamity. As part of emergency relief, families affected by the deluge will get Rs 10,000 each. The respective village officer and secretary of the local body will identify the deserving households for this purpose. Additionally, those whose homes are completely destroyed or unfit for habitation will get Rs 4 lakh compensation from the government. Those who have lost their plots of land along with the home will get Rs 6 lakhs to buy land and Rs 4 lakhs to construct a house. Families of the deceased will get compensation according to the guidelines of the state disaster relief fund.
Many families under the BPL in flood-affected areas are already getting 35 kgs rice a month under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). Additionally, other families including those in areas affected by coastal erosion will get 15 kgs of free rice from ration shops for emergency relief. Farmers and businesses affected by the deluge will get compensation according to the same guidelines followed last year.
CM Vijayan also pointed out that if there are pressing environmental reasons that have increased the severity of the calamity, such issues would be looked into and solved.
Additional textbooks will be supplied to all schools and families who have been affected by the floods. Special adalats will be held in the coming days for those who lost their original certificates in the calamity. Copies of the certificates would be handed over free of cost through the e-district programme of the government.
As of Wednesday morning, 95 people have died in the state as a result of the floods and landslides. A total of 1218 relief camps, with 1,59,567 people are operating across the state. More camps are being shut as rainfall intensity decreases. Only three districts – Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kannur have been issued orange rain alerts for Thursday (August 15) with ‘isolated heavy to very heavy’ rain.