Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the Centre turned down foreign aid for rain-battered Kerala, help has poured in from other quarters. On Thursday, Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan said that his government now needs to see how that fund should be used judiciously, reported ANI. “We should discuss and decide whether rehabilitation should be done in the areas which are prone to landslide and floods. Rs 738 crore has been received in the CM’s distress relief fund till August 28.” (Also read: Google Donates Rs 7 Crore) Also Read - COVID-19 Lockdown: Migrant Workers Take to Streets in Kerala, Police Urge Them to 'go Back'
It was reported that the state government was also planning to approach the World Bank for financial assistance. The government had said that an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 would be disbursed soon to the flood-affected state. As per the last government update, 322 people have lost their lives in the monsoon fury since August 8. Also Read - Kerala Reports First Coronavirus Death. A Reason to Worry? | 5 Points
Meanwhile, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, who visited Muttinakam Village of Ernakulam district on Wednesday to review the relief and rehabilitation process, said, “We were able to rescue over 17,000 people during the course of flooding. We have now changed our operation and will work for rehabilitation. On a voluntary basis, my officers and men have donated a day’s salary.” Admiral Lanba met the CM as well. (Also read: SC Intervenes, Asks TN to Maintain Mullaperiyar Dam Water Level) Also Read - Kabul Gurudwara Attack May be Linked to Kerala, Indian Security Agencies Eyeing ISKP Kasaragod Module
In a related development, the Kerala High Court has sought a clarification from the state government on its proposal to set up a separate fund for carrying out flood-relief operations. A division bench sought clarification on a Public Interest Litigation filed by an Idukki resident, seeking to declare the recent floods as a ‘national calamity’. The government informed the court that the money collected in the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) would not be diverted for any other purposes. “Everything is properly accounted for,” the government said. Meanwhile, in a statement before the HC, it said that as far as the post-disaster phase was concerned, the state government and the Kerala Disaster Management Authority were undertaking various rehabilitation and reconstruction activities based on the damage assessment. (With Agency Inputs)