New Delhi: The Kerala flood has raised so many issues, including the cause, that the state government has had to turn to the Supreme Court. On Thursday, Kerala submitted before the apex court that the Tamil Nadu government had ignored the rain-battered state’s request to control the flow of water from its dam, ANI said. The Pinayari Vijayan government said that the sudden release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam by the Tamil Nadu government was one of the reasons for the deluge in Kerala. Also Read - 'Mother's Body Organs For Sale': Kerala Woman Offers to Sell All Her Organs to Pay Medical Bills of Her Children
Kerala told the apex court that its Water Resources Secretary had written to her counterpart in Tamil Nadu and the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee on Mullaperiyar dam, requesting a controlled release of water without waiting for the water level in the reservoir to reach its full level. It said, “The sudden release from the Mullaperiyar dam, third largest reservoir in the Periyar Basin, forced us to release more water from Idukki reservoir, downstream of Mullaperiyar, which is one of the causes of this deluge.” The Mullaperiyar Dam is near Thekkady in Idukki district of Kerala on the Periyar river. (Also read: Siddaramaiah Says PM Modi Should Visit Karnataka as Well) Also Read - Kerala: 2 Migrant Workers Killed in Quarry Explosion in Ernakulam District, Terror Links Suspected
Meanwhile, the Centre issued a statement that the Rs 600 crore aid released for Kerala was just an interim help; additional funds would be released when an inter-ministerial team visits the state again and assesses the damage. “It is clarified that Rs 600 crore released by Centre is the advance assistance only. Additional funds would be released from NDRF on assessment of the damages as per laid down procedure,” the statement said. The Centre had released Rs 600 crore as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Rs 500 crore) and Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Rs 100 crore) during their visits to the state. Also Read - NIA Busts Major Terror Module, Arrests 9 Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives For 'Plotting Attacks on Vital Installations'
While the Centre has insisted that it cannot take foreign aid for the state because of a 2004 policy by the then Manmohan Singh government, it said NGOs and similar parties could make donations. The state government has been requesting the Centre to make an exception for UAE and allow its Rs 700 crore aid offer to come through. Interestingly, while echoing the Centre’s stand and insisting that the Rs 600 crore was sufficient for the state, Union minister KJ Alphons has also asked the Centre to accept UAE’s help. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also has been saying that the Centre should accept all the help coming their way. Yesterday, former chief minister Oommen Chandy had shot off a letter to PM Modi, saying the Rs 600 crore help was “disappointing”.
Even the list of neighbouring countries willing to pitch in with financial aid for Kerala got longer on Thursday with Pakistan’s newly sworn-in Prime Minister Imran Khan promising that his country was ready with help. Apart from the UAE, the Maldives and Thailand were also said to have offered help with the Thailand Ambassador to India saying on Wednesday that he had unofficially been told that India could not accept financial help, something that was later corroborated by the MEA statement clarifying the Centre’s stand.