New Delhi, Aug 12: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday announced that the people whose passports have been damaged due to the unprecedented floods in Kerala will be replaced without any charge. At least 37 people have been killed in the state since August 8. Ten columns of Army, a unit of Madras Regiment along with personnel of Navy, Air Force, and the NDRF are engaged in relief and rescue operations in badly-hit districts including Kozhikode, Idukki, Malappuram, Kannur and Wayanad.
“There are unprecedented floods in Kerala causing huge damage. We’ve decided that as the situation becomes normal,passports damaged on account of floods shall be replaced free of charge.Please contact the concerned Passport Kendras,” EAM Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh conducted an aerial survery of flood-hit areas in the state. He assured the state government that all resources will be provided from central government to fight this flood situation. Singh was accompanied by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister KJ Alphons.
With the state facing incessant rain havoc, a total of eight districts — Idukki, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam — have been put on high alert.
The rains have left nearly 54,000 people homeless and 31,000 in relief camps. More than 500 relief camps have been set up and over 15,600 people have been evacuated from the affected areas.