Though most of those marooned have been evacuated, the state government and defence forces said rescue efforts will continue till the last person was brought to safety. Over 1.63 lakh people were rescued in the last five days alone.

Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala on Tuesday sought a Rs 2,600 crore special package from the Centre even as the state struggled to find its feet after the devastating deluge that left hundreds dead in a fortnight and forced over 10 lakh people out of their homes.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a meeting of the state cabinet, which decided to seek a special package from the Centre under the centrally-sponsored schemes including the latter’s flagship rural employment programme MNREGS.

Vijayan said a special session of the state assembly has been convened on August 30 to discuss the situation arising from the calamitous floods, the worst in a century.

On the ground, the situation has “improved dramatically” as flood waters receded, Union Minister KJ Alphons said. Rescue operations are almost over. The focus is now on the mammoth task of rebuilding homes, infrastructure and lives.

Vijayan said Kerala would also ask the Centre to hike the limit of loan it can secure from the open market for the massive rebuilding exercise after 13 of the state’s 14 districts were savaged by floods, traumatising people and devastating its infrastructure.

Under the present arrangement, Kerala can obtain three per cent of its gross state domestic product (GSDP) as loans and wants it to be raised to 4.5 per cent so the state can mobilise an additional Rs 10,500 crore from the open market, he said.

Over 10.78 lakh people, including 2.12 lakh women and 1 lakh children below 12 years of age, are taking shelter in as many as 3,200 relief camps a fortnight after a murderous monsoon rampaged through the state in its second spell that began on August 8.

  • Kerala CM said the cabinet decided to submit a comprehensive plan to the Centre that will help build a new Kerala. The state, he tweeted, will demand a `2600-Crore MGNREGA special package for Central schemes.
  • Kerala will ask the centre to raise ceiling on borrowing for the state to 4.5% of the GDP, which is at 3% now. This will help raise an additional `10,500Cr from the market, Vijayan said.
  • In a tweet tagging PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, Union minister KJ Alphons flagged the need for ready-to-eat cooked food, doctors and nurses in Kerala. The minister also appealed to skilled workers like plumbers, electricians & carpenters to come and make people’s homes livable.
  • The Union home ministry has declared the flood a “calamity of severe nature”, refusing the state’s demand to declare it a national calamity.
  • The water level has not come down in several areas of the worst-hit Ernakulam, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kollam districts.
  • At Chengannur, one of the worst-hit towns, over 2 feet of water still blocked many roads as there was more rain on Tuesday.

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