Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday blamed the Centre for hampering the efforts of the State government to mobilise funds to reconstruct flood-devastated Kerala and mitigate the suffering of its people.
Mr. Vijayan told mediapersons here that the Centre had given a mere ₹600 crore as flood relief. Out of the meagre amount, Kerala has to pay back ₹265 crore to the Centre for the rice and kerosene procured during the floods.
The United Nations and the World Bank had pegged the monsoon havoc at ₹31,000 crore. The Centre’s contribution ridiculously fell short of the actual needs of the State.
The Centre also forestalled the monsoon relief offered by the United Arab Emirates. It prevented Cabinet Ministers from visiting foreign countries to mobilise funds from the diaspora of affluent Keralites.
The National Disaster Management Plan, 2016 envisaged the freedom of State governments to accept donations from foreign countries to manage catastrophes.
Mr Vijayan said the Centre’s stance was puzzling. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister had toured flood-hit Kerala and understood the gravity of the situation.
They sympathised with the people of Kerala but offered little help. In contrast, the Centre government gave ₹546 crore to Karnataka, which suffered flood damage in just one district in August this year.
In Uttarakhand, the Centre spent ₹2,300 crore on flood relief.
It gave ₹940 crore to Chennai, which was ravaged by storm waters in 2015.
₹2,683 crore received
He said the government had received ₹2,683 crore as contributions to the Chief Minister Disaster Relief Fund. Most of it has been used to create habitat for people displaced by the floods that ravaged 14 districts in Kerala. He said Kerala would benefit from crowdfunding once the micro-level reconstruction plans for flood-affected villages were completed. It would enable authorities to raise funds through crowdfunding for location-specific needs.