New Delhi, August 21: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged Narendra Modi-led Centre for more assistance to help the flood-battered state. “The Centre said they will make all necessary requirements available to us but in today’s situation what is most needed is the necessary help, equivalent to the total damages caused so far,” the CM said, while addressing media in Trivandrum. He further stated that a total of 10,28,000 people were housed in 3,274 camps in the flood-hit districts. Also Read - India-Denmark Bilateral Summit: PM Modi Urges Denmark Counterpart to Join Hands to Work Towards Supply-chain Diversification
Vijayan asserted that there has been demands from various quarters to declare the floods as a national calamity. “Our demand is also the same. But the Centre is pointing out certain technical difficulties to make such an announcement. What we need now is to evaluate the total loss and get an equivalent assistance from the Centre,” he added. Also Read - Bhagat Singh Birth Anniversary: PM Modi Pays Tribute to India's Revolutionary Freedom Fighter
“As per preliminary estimates, the state has so far suffered a loss of nearly Rs 20,000 crore. The Union government has so far rendered all help to the state. Kerala received Rs 210 crore towards the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund and a promise of Rs 160 crore,” he said. Also Read - Day After Spelling Out 'Challenge' For Govt, Serum Institute CEO Applauds Modi For His Vision to Provide Vaccine to Global Community
Train Services Restored
Meanwhile, with the decrease in rainfall and receding of floodwater in the state, train services in Kayankulam-Kottayam- Ernakulam and Palakkad-Shoranur-Kozhikkode sections have been resumed. Trivandrum- Ernakulam section was also connected by passenger Special Trains for the flood period. Heavy damages caused by the floods in Aluva- Thrissur, Thrissur-Shoranur, Kayamkulam-Kottayam- Ernakulam Shoranur-Tirur, Shoranur- Palakkad routes have been fixed. Few special trains were started via Trivandrum, Tirunelveli, and Madurai to Chennai, Egmore, Howarah, Gorakhpur, Bhubaneswar routes to evacuate stranded people. The traffic in Aluva- Thrissur, Thrissur-Shoranur sections was also restored. Commercial flight operations from the naval airport at Kochi also commenced on Monday.
Centre Calls it ‘Calamity of Severe Nature’
Earlier on Monday, the Union government declared the devastating floods in the southern state a ‘calamity of severe nature’.“Keeping in view the intensity and magnitude of the floods and landslides in Kerala, this is a calamity of a severe nature for all practical purposes,” a home ministry official said in New Delhi. This categorisation will enable the state get greater monetary and other assistance from the Centre.
Notably, Kerala has been facing the worst flooding in a century. The death toll, ever since the monsoon season began this year, has crossed 300.
(With inputs from agencies)