Relief measures announced for rain affected people in Kerala



Thiruvananthapuram: A total of 22 persons have died so far and 374 villages in Kerala affected due to rain-related incidents since the onset of the monsoon, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Thursday.

He was speaking to reporters after a special Cabinet meeting that discussed relief measures across the state.

Kerala received 66 per cent excess rain from June 1 when the monsoon rains started. Except Pathanamthitta, all other districts received excess rainfall, he said.

"So far 22 persons have died in the rain havoc and 374 villages have been badly affected. Of these, 71 are coastal villages. 44 relief camps have been opened and 2,432 families are in these camps. Control rooms have been opened at revenue commissionerate and district collectorates," he said.

Each family in a relief camp would be given Rs 2,000 immediately and free rations for two weeks, as also medicines, Chandy said.

Free rations would also be given to families whose houses had been inundated and who had shifted to other places and to?tribal families, fishermen and coir workers, he said.

The state expects the Centre to provide the additional quota of rice, the Chief Minister said.

Families of deceased who are majors would be given Rs 2 lakh as solatium and Rs 1.5 lakh to minors. An amount of Rs 1 lakh would be given to those whose houses are fully damaged and the structures are certified as unsafe houses by an engineer, Chandy said.

"The state has strongly recommended to the Centre to include sea surge and deaths due to lightning, under natural calamity," he said adding, crop damage due to heavy rain has been estimated at Rs 54 crore.

Wayand is the worst affected with damages mounting to Rs 20 crore, he said.

Chandy said, the Cabinet also discussed the issue of Keralities in Kuwait due to the new law being introduced in that country.

"The state is anxious about problems faced by expatriates in Kuwait and has insisted that the Centre intervene on the issue in the same manner as it did in Saudi issue. A detailed project has been prepared on the rehabilitation package intended for migrants returning from Gulf countries," he said.

A self-employment package for returnees would be given shape jointly by the Centre and state governments and banks, he added.

PTI