The Government on Tuesday released the central assistance of Rs 600 crore announced by the Prime minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the Kerala which has faced deadliest food fury in a century.
Prime minister Modi on August 18, announced the central aid of Rs 500 crore and Home Minister Rajnath Singh has announced Rs 100 crore central assistance during his recent visit of the rain battered state.
Meanwhile, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, met for the sixth time in a row on Tuesday to review the rescue and relief operations in the state.
The NCMC was informed that the Department of Food and Public Distribution has made additional allocation of 89,540 MT of rice as per State Government’s request and the Department of Consumer Affairs, in addition to 100 MT of pulses supplied earlier, is sending additional quantities of green gram and Tur dal.
“Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies have contributed Rs 25 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in Kerala. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has opened special points in the flood affected areas of the state for LPG distribution. Permission has also been granted, in coordination with the State Government, for non-certified vehicles to carry LPG cylinders.
The Ministry has also made available 3.2 lakh LPG cylinders and 2.2 lakh regulators”, a government functionary said after the meeting.
The Ministry of Railways appraised the Committee it has so far supplied 24 lakh litres of drinking water in addition to 2.7 lakh water bottles. Another 14 lakh litres water is currently available at Ernakulam.
Railways has also made arrangements for supply of bed sheets and blankets. Trains on all sections have resumed. It is also transporting relief materials from various states to Kerala free of cost.
An Action Plan has been prepared for restoration of power supply in all the affected areas. Around 94 percent of telecom towers have been made functional. Power supply to telephone exchanges is being restored on priority.
The Health Ministry informed that it will supply 3 crore Chlorine tablets in addition to one crore tablets supplied earlier. 30 tonnes of bleaching powder and 1.76 lakh sanitary pads have also been sent so far. Additional quantities will also be sent in the next few days. No major outbreak of disease has been reported so far, a top level official said.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries informed that as per the State Government’s requirement, essential spices, salt, tea and coffee are also being supplied to Kerala..
The NCMC was also made aware of decision of the Finance Ministry to waive off Customs Duty and Integrated GST on the relief materials being imported or sent from abroad to aid the people in the flood-affected areas in Kerala.
As the rescue operations wind down, State Administration has started de-requisitioning the teams of Defence Forces and NDRF.
The Chief Secretary of Kerala participated in the meeting via video conference and informed that the situation is now improving by and large though there are some isolated pockets still with water. Water levels are receding fast.
The NCMC meeting was attended by Secretaries of Central Ministries including Health, Telecom, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Power, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Commerce and Textiles and Senior Officers of Defence Forces, Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).