Kerala Floods: Centre Sends Rs 102 Cr Bill For Using Chopper Service During Rescue Operations
Months after the devastating Kerala Floods in August 2018 which left hundreds dead and even more displaced, the Centre has reportedly forwarded a bill of Rs 102 crore to the Kerala government to the for making use of Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters during the flood relief and evacuation efforts. The Rajya Sabha was informed of this new incident on Monday, February 4.
Centre forwards bill
According to Firstpost Minister of State in the Defence Ministry Subhash Bhamre, in a written reply to a question said that during the Kerala Floods, the IAF had carried out 517 sorties of Fixed Wing aircraft, airlifted 3,787 people and 1,350 tonnes of load. Moreover, there were 634 sorties of helicopters which winched 584 people and airlifted over 247 tonnes of load.
He further stated, “Bills of approximately Rs 102.6 crores have been forwarded to the Kerala Government for use of IAF aircraft/helicopters for Kerala Flood relief. The recoveries for providing services of IAF aircraft/helicopters are effected from the State Government and the Administration of Union Territories.” In addition to this, the Army and the Navy are separately preparing details of the expenditure that has been incurred by Kerala with regards to assistance.
He said that the process of the armed force extending help to civil authorities is governed by the “Instructions on aid to Civil Authority by the Armed Forces – 1970.” Moreover, the armed forces compile the details of the expenditure and send it to the states. The bills after being scrutinized are sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for reimbursement.
Reportedly, the Kerala government had sought Rs 4,700 crore as compensation from the Central Government. However, on December 5, a High-Level Committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh decided to hand over additional assistance of Rs 3,048.39 crore to Kerala, reported The Hindu BusinessLine. At least 488 people died in Kerala due to the floods, which is described to be the worst in a century.