PM GIVES ANOTHER 500 CR TO FLOOD-affected KERALA

Kerala floods: Damages pegged at Rs 19,000 crore

New Delhi : Prime Minister Modi made an aerial survey of the damage caused by floods in Kerala for a review of the situation and then announced a financial help of Rs 500 crore to the state, in addition to Rs 100 crore announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh last Saturday.

Kerala Governor P Sathasivam and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan accompanied him in the aerial survey.

The Prime Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the diseased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the PM’s National Relief Funds. Modi complimented the state government for meeting the challenges of

the unprecedented situation and observed that the rescue of people still marooned remains the topmost priority.

He also issued several instructions to help out the people, including:

— Rushing relief materials, including foodgrains, medicines, etc,

— Villagers, whose kutcha houses have been destroyed, would be provided houses on priority under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana, irrespective of their priority in the permanent wait-list;

— Insurance companies to hold special camps for assessment and timely compensation to the affected families under social security schemes;

— Early clearance of claims of farmers under the crop insurance scheme;

— National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to start repairs of the main national highways damaged due to floods on priority;

— Central public sector bodies like NTPC and PGCIL to render all possible help to the state government in restoring power lines;

— More person days of work as per requirement of the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and

— Farmers to get help under the Integrated Horticulture Development Minister for replantation of damaged horticulture crops.

On the Prime Minister’s direction MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, Tourism MoS K J Alphons, who belongs to Kerala, along with a high-level central team visited the flood-affected districts and met the affected people.

An Inter-Ministerial Centre Team (IMCT) has already visited the affected areas in the State for assessment of losses from 7-12 August, officials said.

As many as 57 teams of NDRF involving about 1300 personnel and 435 boats, as also five companies of BSF, CISF and RAF, besides men of Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are busy in search and rescue operations.

While 38 helicopters are deployed for rescue operations, another 20 IAF aircraft are being used to ferry resources. The Indian Army has deployed around 790 personnel while Navy is providing 82 teams, the Coast Guard 42 teams, two helicopters and two ships. The officials said that NDRF, Army and Navy together have rescued 6,714 people and provided medical assistance to 891 person.

Rainfall intensity to reduce from August 20: IMD

New Delhi: In a much-needed respite to rain-battered Kerala, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday said the rainfall intensity in the state will reduce in the next two to three days. Kerala is not expected to receive heavy rainfall from August 20, Mritunjay Mohapatra, IMD Additional Director General said. He said the southern state received 170 per cent more precipitation than its normal from August 1 to August 17. “From August 20, we are not expecting any heavy rainfall. Gradually, the rainfall intensity is decreasing,” Mohapatra said.

Death toll 357, 11 districts still on alert

Thiruvananthapuram: The death toll due to rains and floods in Kerala has gone up to 357 this monsoon season, as 22 more deaths were reported on Saturday and red alert continued in 11 districts following prediction of more rains.

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