Centre Approves Rs 4,432 Crore Financial Aid To Fani Affected Odisha And Drought Hit States
The Centre on Tuesday, August 20 approved financial aid of Rs 4432 crores to Odisha, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh for damage caused by natural calamities in the financial year 2018-19.
The Home Ministry in a statement said that a high-level committee, headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, an assistance of Rs 3338.22 crore to Odisha in the aftermath of cyclone Fani, Rs 1029.39 crore to Karnataka for drought and Rs 64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorms was approved. The funds will be disbursed from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
Confusion Over Funds For Kerala
In 2018, when Kerala battled its worst flood crisis, the central government was questioned for not providing the required assistance to the state. One year later when the state is tackling with a similar tragedy, the blame game has again erupted.
The Centre declared a relief of Rs 4,432 crore on August 20 for the states affected due to natural calamities. However, as Kerala was not mentioned in the list, to which Kerala Finance Minister, Thomas Isaac alleged that the relief fund share for Kerala was zero.
Soon after State Minister for Industries EP Jayarajan took to Facebook to point fingers at the Centre with his post captioned “Isn’t Kerala part of India”. It also showed a poster showing an image of people being evacuated during floods, which read: “No help for Kerala to battle rain fury. Rs 4432 crores for other states. Isn’t Kerala part of India”.
Soon they realised the package announced by the Home Ministry was for Cyclone Fani affected-Odisha and other drought-hit states, during the last financial year (2018-19). Kerala was not a part for the package as the state had not witnessed any major damage in the last financial year after the floods in August 2018.
States Affected By Floods This Year
At least 121 people died in flood-hit Kerala this year according to a state-wide calamity report issued by the government. Malappuram district saw the highest number of deaths at 58, followed by Kozhikode and Wayanad.
More than a lakh volunteers actively carried out cleaning work in flood-hit villages in the northern districts of the state.
— ANI (@ANI) August 19, 2019
IMCT To Review Situation
The committee has decided that the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) will be constituted immediately in the aftermath of any natural calamity.
The team will be responsible for visiting the affected areas in the state to have a first-hand assessment of damages caused and relief work to be carried out by the state administration.
Maharashtra Most Affected
Poll bound Maharasthra witnessed the highest release of Rs 3150 crores for rescue and relief, of which 676 crores were released through the SDRF while the Centre contributed Rs 2474 through its NDRF. The death toll of Maharashtra was the highest amongst all the flood-affected states.
As many as 1300 people lost their lives and over 60,000 villages were affected across the country due to flood since the onset of the monsoon from June.
Flood Scare In Northern India
Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha chaired a high-level meeting of top officials and reviewed the flood situation in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Delhi on August 20.
While the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala still remain affected, northern India is now bracing for floods with the Yamuna crossing the danger mark on Tuesday. Over 38 deaths have been reported from various parts of North India with Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Jammu worst affected while the national capital has been warned of heavy rains.