Central team to visit Kerala to study flood damage

Central team to visit Kerala to study flood damage

An aerial view shows partially submerged houses at a flooded area in Kerala. Reuters file photo

An inter-ministerial team, headed by a special secretary of the Home Ministry, will visit Kerala for five days beginning Thursday to assess the damage caused by the recent devastating floods, officials said.

The move came after the Kerala government sent a detailed memorandum seeking Rs 4,700 crore as compensation for the damage occurred due to rains and floods, considered to be worst in a century.

The inter-ministerial team, headed by Special Secretary B R Sharma, will visit Kerala from September 20 to 24, a Home Ministry official said.

At least 488 people have died in Kerala due to the rains and floods this monsoon, which hit 14 districts of the state.

The Kerala government memorandum comprises details about the loss of human life, properties, infrastructure and crops.

In case of any natural calamity beyond the coping capacity of a state, the state government submits a detailed memorandum indicating sector-wise details of damage and requirement of funds for relief operations of immediate nature.

Accordingly, the Kerala government sent the memorandum, the official said.

According to the existing guidelines, the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) will visit the state for an on-the-spot assessment of damage and the additional requirement of funds.

The IMCT report will be considered by the sub-committee of the national executive committee (SC-NEC) headed by the Union home secretary in conformity with the norms and then by a high-level committee, chaired by the home minister for approving the quantum of additional assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), another official said.

The financial mechanism to meet the rescue and relief expenditure during any notified disaster event is governed by guidelines on the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and the NDRF, the official said.

The State Disaster Relief Fund has been constituted in each state in which the Centre contributes 75 per cent for general category states and 90 per cent for special category states of hilly regions every year according to the award of the successive Finance Commissions.

According to the guidelines, the Centre provides its allocation to the SDRF of each state in advance in two instalments.

In case of any natural calamity, the state meets the expenditure of relief and rescue from the State Disaster Relief Fund already available at its disposal.

On August 21, the central government had released Rs 600 crore to flood-hit Kerala as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Rs 500 crore) and Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Rs 100 crore) during their visits to the state. This was in addition to Rs 562.45 crore already made available in the State Disaster Relief Fund of Kerala. 

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