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Centre Approves Rs 2,500 Crore For Kerala Flood Relief, Wants Rs 290 Crore Back For Rescue Ops
From the Webdesk, 30/11/2018, New Delhi

The central government has approved an additional sum of Rs 2,500 crore for relief and rehabilitation work in Kerala, three months after floods ravaged 14 districts of the state, killing 483 people. 

The relief amount sanctioned by the Centre is in addition to the Rs 600 crore it had granted as interim relief earlier, Indian Express reported. It, however, falls far short of the Rs 4,800 crore sought by the Pinarayi Vijayan government in September, when it had submitted a memorandum to the Centre, detailing the losses. 

The relief fund was cleared by a committee headed by union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, and will now be sent to a high-level committee headed by home minister Rajnath Singh, who will announce the package along with finance minister Arun Jaitley and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh. 

Following the furore over the Centre turning down the UAE’s offer of Rs 700 crore aid, the Centre had released Rs 600 crore as advance assistance. 

According to a preliminary estimate, the loss and damage due to the rain fury was Rs 20,000 crore, but Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said it would be much more. The deluge in the state was dubbed as the worst in a century and caused widespread destruction.

The Centre, while approving additional funds for Kerala, has reportedly also sought Rs 290 crore from the cash-strapped state. 

Vijayan told the Assembly on Thursday that the Centre sought the amount towards the cost of launching aircraft for the rescue mission during the recent floods and supplying rations to flood-affected people. 

He also said the amount that reached the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, around Rs 2700 crore, would not be sufficient to meet the cost of flood-relief activities.

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