Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested the Centre to depute a delegation to assess the huge damage inflicted on the State by a resurgent monsoon over the past three days.
Road and rain traffic continue to be severely hit, especially in the central districts of Kottayam, Ernakulam, and Alappuzha where the rains are still continuing unabated. At least 12 deaths have been reported in the latest round of enhanced monsoon activity.
Flooding in Central Kerala
Vast areas in the plains in these districts continue to remain under a sheet of water which refuses to drain out due both to the on-and-off showers and the high tides. The Southern Railways has been forced to restrict train services to the bare minimum from Tuesday after water levels in the rivers approached danger mark underneath rail bridges at three places.
At least 90 deaths have been reported during the last one and a half months in monsoon-related incidents, the Chief Minister wrote in a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, adding that 27,000 people have been put up in relief camps. Floods, high winds, and landslips have wreaked havoc across the plains, the highlands and the coastal areas, with at least 965 villages taking a hit.
Landslips have been reported from at least 50 places and 333 houses/tenements completely destroyed and another 8,000 suffered substantial damage. Standing crops in at least 10,000 hectares have been destroyed. National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts but it is constrained due to lack of adequate resources and equipment, the Chief Minister said.
He requested the Home Minister for reinforcement of personnel and replenishment of equipment such as dinghi boats and heavy-lift helicopters to beef up relief and rescue operations.
He reminded the Centre that the State had requested for a special package of ₹7,340 crore to secure the 590-km-long coastline in wake of the Ockhi disaster. It has not yet elicited any response from the Centre.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today promised all assistance and NDRF support to flood-hit Kerala where over 90 people have been killed in rain-related incidents since May 29.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, A Sampath CPI(M) said 14 districts in the State have been affected so far, and 90 people have died and 329 houses destroyed due to torrential rains. The monetary loss suffered by the State is to the tune of ₹2,000 crore.
Singh, who was present in the House, said he personally speaks to ministers whenever a natural calamity strikes any State.
“I want to assure you that if the State government needs any assistance or NDRF team, we will provide all assistance,” Singh said. With regard to financial support from the Centre, Singh said that as per norms, the State affected by calamity has to first send a memorandum to the Centre following which the Centre sends a team to the State to assess the quantum of loss.
Based on the report, the Centre gives monetary support to the State.