New Delhi, Aug 13: Terming the situation in Kerala’s flood-affected areas as “very serious”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday announced an immediate relief of additional Rs 100 crore to deal with the destruction caused by the incessant rains. Apart from the Rs 100 crore relief, Singh also released the second instalment of Rs 80.25 crore relief just before his visit to the state. The announcement came hours after the Union Minister took an aerial survey of some flood-hit areas in Kerala.

“I understand the suffering of the people of Kerala due to this unprecedented crisis. Since the assessment of damages will take some time, I hereby announce immediate relief of additional Rs 100 crores…The first instalment of Rs 80.25 crore of the Central share of SDRF for 2018-19 was released last month only…just before leaving for Kerala I have approved the release the second instalment of Rs 80.25 crore in advance for the SDRF,” tweeted Rajnath Singh.

The Kerala floods have left a total of 37 people dead and over 100,000 homeless who have been shifted to 1,026 relief camps. The Centre’s announcement came hours after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan submitted a memorandum to him seeking Rs 1,220 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund as a special package to deal with the situation arising from unprecedented floods following heavy monsoon rains.

“As it requires more time to make a detailed assessment of the damage that has been caused, we require an immediate assistance of Rs 1,220 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund,” said Vijayan’s memorandum, adding, “…taking into the grievous situation now prevailing, there should be a more liberal approach when deciding the rates of compensation.” The memorandum also said that till Sunday, a total of 37 people died and five are reported missing.

Rajnath Singh after taking an areal survey of floods

After conducting an areal survey of the Kerala floods, Rajnath Singh said that the situation is “very serious” and the Centre will extend all necessary support to the state in all respects. “The floods in Kerala affected the Tourism sector in a big way and also adversely impacted the daily lives of more than one lakh people in the state. Thousands of them have been shifted to relief camps. These floods have caused massive damage to the crops like paddy, banana plantations and to the cash crops like spices. It has caused severe damage to infrastructures…” he said.

Offering to send more teams of the disaster management force if required, he said, “Three teams of NDRF were pre-positioned in Kerala during the current Monsoon season. Eleven more NDRF teams have been deployed in the state taking the total number of NDRF teams to 14. If needed we will press in additional teams would be pressed into service.”

Meanwhile, DMK working president MK Stalin expressed condolences and announced Rs one crore relief from the party to the Kerala government. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami also announced a contribution of Rs 5 crore to the state.