Declare floods as ‘national disaster’, Rahul tells Centre.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday saluted the people of the rain-ravaged Kerala for their “fighting spirit” and said the nation stands firmly with the state in this hour. He conducted an aerial survey of some of the areas affected by flood. He presided over a high-level meeting to review the situation in the state which has been battered by heavy rains. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan apprised the Prime Minister of the devastation caused by the floods which has displaced thousands of people. More than 3.5 lakh persons are currently lodged in relief camps across the state. Nearly 1 lakh people have been rescued from the affected areas.
The Chief Minister said as per the initial assessment, the total loss was pegged at Rs 19,512 crore. The actual loss can be ascertained after the water recedes in the affected areas. The Chief Minister had demanded Rs 2,000 crore as emergency assistance. For now, Mr Modi announced an immediate financial assistance of Rs 500 crore. Mr Modi also announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the family members of those who died in the floods and Rs 50,000 to the injured from PM’s National Relief Funds.
Mr Modi directed insurance companies to conduct special camps at various places for evaluation of the claims and timely disbursement of compensation to the affected people. Considering the huge crop loss, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to clear claims under Centre’s Fasal Bima Yojana. He asked the National Highways Authority of India to give top priority to repair the national highways which are badly damaged due to floods.
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi appealed to the Prime Minister to declare floods in Kerala as “a national disaster”. “Dear PM, please declare #Kerala floods a National Disaster without any delay. The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people is at stake,” Gandhi tweeted (sic). He also appealed to Congress workers to help those in need in the flood-ravaged state.
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