A High-Level Committee (HLC) chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday, January 6, approved additional central assistance of ₹ 5,908.56 crores to seven states affected by flood last year. Kerala, which has been severely affected by floods in the last two years was ignored by the Centre for the second time.
A Union Home Ministry statement said that seven states – Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh – will get additional central assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund. Not surprisingly, four of the seven states are BJP-ruled – Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura and Assam.
Earlier, the Central Government had released interim financial assistance to four states – Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Bihar – amounting to ₹ 3,200 crores.
In the aftermath of the 2019 floods in Kerala, the Disaster Management Authority of Kerala had estimated a loss of ₹ 2,101 crores. While the state submitted a memorandum to the Union government seeking aid for the same, the request went futile. The Centre’s decision has been severely criticised by the state government.
“It was unfortunate that the state was denied reasonable assistance to overcome the flood havoc. The state had submitted a memorandum to the Union government seeking an aid of ₹ 2,109 crores. The memorandum was prepared as per the guidelines of the Centre. But Amit Shah and team had not allotted a single rupee to the state,” Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said.
“This discrimination we have seen at the time of 2018 floods also. At that time, the BJP had carried out propaganda that no assistance should be given for the state. The propaganda was followed up by a decision to deny permission for the ministers of the state to visit foreign countries to seek assistance,” Isaac was quoted in The News Minute.