Centre releases Rs 600 cr to Kerala

Centre releases Rs 600 cr to Kerala

The Centre on Tuesday released a financial assistance of Rs 600 crore to Kerala for flood relief and rehabilitation.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced Rs 100 crore as financial assistance for Kerala on August 12 while Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 18 had announced Rs 500 crore to the state where a total of 14 districts are badly hit by floods and landslides.

"Central assistance as announced by the prime minister and by the Union Home Minister for flood-affected Kerala has been released to the Government of Kerala today (Tuesday)," the home ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Union Finance Ministry decided to waive off customs duty and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on the relief materials being imported to aid the people in the flood-affected areas of Kerala.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has made additional allocation of 89,540 MT of rice as per the state government’s request, an official said.

"The Department of Consumer Affairs, in addition to 100 MT of pulses supplied earlier, is sending additional quantities of green gram and Tur dal," he said.

The health ministry will supply 3 crore chlorine tablets, in addition to one crore tablets supplied earlier.

"30 tonnes of bleaching powder and 1.76 lakh sanitary pads have also been sent. Additional quantities will also be sent in the next few days," the official said.

Meanwhile, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for yet another day to review the rescue and relief operations in the state. Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha chaired the meeting.

"The chief secretary of Kerala participated in the meeting via video conference and informed that the situation is now improving by and large though there are some isolated pockets still with water. Water levels are receding fast," a Home Ministry official said.

An action plan has been prepared for restoration of power supply in all the flood affected areas.

"94% of telecom towers have been made functional. Power supply to telephone exchanges is being restored on priority," the official said.