Kochi, Aug 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an additional grant of Rs 500 crore to Kerala, after holding a high-level meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and conducting an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged state.
He also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the PM’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2018
Modi began his aerial survey of the massive loss and destruction triggered by the torrential rains in Kerala on Saturday, after it was initially called off due to bad weather.
The Prime Minister’s first attempt was cancelled due to rains prevailing at the Kochi Naval airbase.
Following the cancellation, Modi chaired a meeting with Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other officials and witnessed a video presentation of the widespread destruction across the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accompanied by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor P. Sathasivam and Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons during aerial survey of flood affected areas. #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/s0LB2Z9J3q
— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2018
Insurance companies were also directed to hold special camps for assessment and timely release of compensation to the affected families and beneficiaries under social security schemes. Directions have also been issued for early clearance of claims under the Fasal Bima Yojna for farmers.
The statement said villagers, whose houses have been destroyed in the floods, would be provided Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin houses on priority.
“The Prime Minister complimented the state government for the efforts made in meeting the challenges of the unprecedented situation. He observed that rescue of people who are still marooned remains the topmost priority,” the statement said.
The disaster has triggered an unprecedented rescue and relief operation led by the Army, the Air Force and the Navy along with teams of National Disaster Response Force involving about 1,300 personnel and 435 boats.
Thirty-eight helicopters have been deployed, apart from 20 aircraft used for ferrying resources.
The Army has deployed 10 columns and 10 teams of Engineering Task Force (ETFs) involving around 790 personnel.
The Navy has provided 82 teams, the Coast Guard 42 along with two helicopters and two ships.
Five Companies of paramilitary troops have also been deployed for rescue and relief measures.
Nearly, 7,000 persons have been rescued since August 9 and some 900 given medical assistance.
The CMO, in a tweet, said that 324 lives have been lost due to floods and around 223139 people are in about 1500 relief camps. It also stated that Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years.
Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years. 80 dams opened, 324 lives lost and 223139 people are in about 1500+ relief camps. Your help can rebuild the lives of the affected. Donate to https://t.co/FjYFEdOsyl #StandWithKerala.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 17, 2018
The worst affected places include Aluva, Chalakudy, Chengannur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where massive rescue operations were on as scores of persons were rescued.
Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and consequent widespread floods and destruction since 1924, which the state estimates has caused a loss of over Rs 19,500 crore.