8.69 lakh people in relief camps: Kerala CM

8.69 lakh people in relief camps: Kerala CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a visit to a relief camp at Kozhencherry, in Pathanamthitta on Thursday. PTI

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday that more than 8.69 lakh people from over 2.18 lakh families were living in 2,287 relief camps in the state.

The figure was over 10.4 lakh on Thursday.

Speaking with reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, he said the state government, along with various agencies, was focusing on cleaning the flooded homes to make them habitable.

Squads formed across the state have cleaned about 31% of houses submerged in the floods, Vijayan said. About 7,000 homes have been destroyed and 50,000 partially damaged, according to preliminary estimates.

The government is setting up a centre through which important documents lost in the floods would be re-issued.

Landslides and flooding since August 8 have led to 265 deaths in the state. The number of deaths reported in the state since the onset of the southwest monsoon is 417.

The chief minister said the government was also addressing the issue of people losing livelihoods as they return to their homes. The government is considering a proposal for interest-free loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to affected traders.

The state has, till Thursday, received Rs 535 crore through contributions to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.

Responding to questions on the controversy around India reportedly not accepting the United Arab Emirates’ financial aid to the flood-ravaged state, Vijayan said there was no lack of clarity on the offer and said he hoped the Centre would accept the aid.