Doing Kerala relief work without any reservation: Govt

In one of the largest rescue operations, the Centre said, 40 helicopters, 31 aircraft, 182 teams for rescue, 18 medical teams of defence forces, 58 teams of NDRF, seven companies of paramilitary were pressed into service along with over 500 boats and necessary rescue equipment. PTI file photo

Amid growing criticism of its handling of flood relief in Kerala, the Centre on Thursday said it has provided urgent aid and relief material "in a timely manner and without any reservation" to the state.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regularly monitoring the situation on a daily basis and on his instruction, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) has met regularly.

In one of the largest rescue operations, it said, 40 helicopters, 31 aircraft, 182 teams for rescue, 18 medical teams of defence forces, 58 teams of NDRF, seven companies of paramilitary were pressed into service along with over 500 boats and necessary rescue equipment.

Defence aircraft and helicopters have made 1,084 sorties of duration 1,168 flying hours and airlifted 1,286 tonnes of load and carried 3,332 rescuers.

The statement said the Centre has released Rs 600 crore in advance pending assessment and decision of the high-level committee. This is in addition to Rs 562.45 crore already made available in SDRF of the state.

"It is clarified that Rs 600 crore released by the Centre is the advance assistance only. Additional funds would be released from NDRF on assessment of the damages as per laid down procedure," it said.

In addition to the financial support, the Centre has also "made available" large quantities of emergency food, water, medicines and other essential supplies, including additional allocation of foodgrains, as requested by the state.

"Normal rules and procedure have been set aside in view of emergency nature of the requirement in Kerala" in supplying these materials, the statement said.

After Modi's visit, a number of measures have been announced from different central schemes such as ex-gratia payments from PM's National Relief Funds (PMNRF), building of damaged houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, additional 5.5 crore person days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and national agencies such as NHAI, NTPC and PGCIL to assist the state in repairing national highways and restoring power.

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Doing Kerala relief work without any reservation: Govt

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