Central aid of Rs 133 crore for Ockhi-hit Kerala

Central aid of Rs 133 crore for Ockhi-hit Kerala

The Centre will release an immediate assistance of Rs 133 crore to Kerala for rehabilitation of those affected by Cyclone Ockhi, a senior central government official said today.

Additional Secretary (Disaster Management) Bipin Mallick told reporters that the state government had sought an immediate assistance of Rs 423 crore of which Rs 133 crore would be released soon.

Mallick and other team members today visited the cyclone-hit regions of Vizhinjam and Beemapally areas here. The team led by Mallick had yesterday visited Poonthura fishing hamlet, among the worst affected.

Mallick heard the woes of fisherfolk.

The central team had yesterday held discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and top state government officials.

The Congress-led UDF Opposition today met Mallick and demanded a special financial package.

UDF leaders led by KPCC President M M Hassan sought the package to take up permanent safety measures in coastal areas to prevent disasters like Ockhi.

The team also visited coastal areas of Ernakulam district.

Malayalam actress Manju Warrier also took time off from her busy schedule to visit the affected families in Poonthura.

The death toll in the cyclone has touched 74 and 134 persons are still missing, according to officials.

After visiting the areas affected by the cyclone, the central team would return here on December 29 and would hold another round of discussions with state government officials.

The state has sought a relief package of Rs 7,434 crore from the Centre to take up various permanent measures for coastal safety and rehabilitation of cyclone-hit fishermen and farmers. PTI UD BN

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