Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly on Thursday that the Union government has sought Rs 290 crore from the cash-strapped state towards the cost of launching aircraft for the rescue mission during the recent floods and supplying rations to flood-affected people.
He said the amount that reached the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund would not be sufficient to meet the cost of flood-relief activities. Besides, the state has to now pay the Union government towards the cost of deploying aircraft for rescue operations and supplying provisions, he said.
The CM said that till November 27, an amount of Rs 2,683.18 crore had reached the CM’s distress fund. This included the sum collected from state government employees through ‘salary challenge’. So far, the government has spent Rs 688.46 crore. Another Rs 1,357.78 crore has to be spent from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund towards compensation for houses damaged in the floods.
The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) has Rs 987.73 crore. Of this, Rs 586.04 crore has been spent so far. As per the current scenario, the state will require an additional Rs 706.74 crore for clearing outstanding liabilities. Even if the entire amount in the SDRF is utilised, the state cannot clear its liabilities, he said.
The CM said that as per a scientific evaluation of the United Nations, Kerala has suffered loss of Rs 26,718 crore and rebuilding the flood-hit state would require Rs 31,000 crore.
Vijayan also wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that the high-level committee on natural disaster mitigation and relief should be convened immediately to ensure more aid for the state. In two earlier memoranda, the state sought aid of Rs 5,616 crore. The state has also sought Rs 2,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
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