Kerala Government wants Centre to expedite flood relief assistance

Vastavam web: Kerala, which suffered a loss of Rs 31,000 crore during the floods in August, Thursday wanted the Centre to expedite the promised assistance to enable it to rebuild the state. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state had received only Rs 2,683.18 Crore in its Distress Relief Fund and was finding it difficult to cobble resources for the ‘re-build Kerala initiative.’ He said the state has to pay Rs 290 crore to the Centre towards the rations received and rescue assistance provided during the floods. “Air Force have asked the state to pay over Rs 33.79 crore as the charge incurred for the rescue efforts during the deluge,” Vijayan told.

Vijayan said he had also written to Union Home minister Rajnath Singh to convene a high power committee meeting to provide assistance to the state. This is because the assistance will be provided only after the committee meeting, he said. “We are not losing hope. However, assistance worth thousands of crores of rupees from foreign countries have been denied,” he said.

Vijayan also dismissed the opposition allegations over lack of facilities at Sabarimala and Pamba which were also affected in the floods. “As of now, Pamba has 404 toilets. Last year it was 380, of which 240 were washed away in the floods. We had to rebuild from scratch. Can’t say we lack facilities compared to last year. Actually, this year we have more facilities,” Vijayan claimed. “We were able to arrange everything possible. Nilackal has 1,020 toilets and 50 bathrooms, while Sannidhanam (temple complex) has 1,043 toilets and 100 bathrooms.

We also have a water purification facility which can purify 25,000 litre water per hour. There are no worries there at Sabarimala,” Vijayan said. About the controversy over Piravom Church incident, the chief minister said the apex court had dismissed a plea seeking contempt action against the state government. “Court said it cannot take contempt action against government in matters related to religion.Even the Supreme Court has taken into consideration that conciliatory talks were going on,” Vijayan said. He said the questions raised by the High Court yesterday was only to seek clarity in the matter and the Advocate General had responded to all queries posed by the court.