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Centre okays Rs 3,048-crore flood relief for Kerala

The Centre on Thursday approved Rs 3,048 crore as additional assistance to flood-hit Kerala.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh. It also cleared additional assistance to Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh, which were affected by landslides and cyclone Titli, respectively, recently. A home ministry spokesperson said finance minister Arun Jaitley, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and home secretary Rajiv Gauba attended the meeting.

Additional assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund of Rs 3,048.39 crore to Kerala, Rs 131.16 crore to Nagaland and Rs 539.52 crore to Andhra Pradesh was approved, the spokesperson said.

The deluge in Kerala, after unusually high rainfall towards the end of August, claimed more than 400 lives and was considered the worst flood in the state in 100 years. The Andhra disaster management authority had said that more than 9 lakh people were affected in the state due to cyclone Titli.

The home minister pitched for a revamp of civil defence and home guards to make them more effective during disasters and peacetime. During his address at the raising day function of Civil Defence and Home Guards in New Delhi, Singh said the civil defence had served the nation on numerous occasions in times of natural and man-made disasters.

“You were at the forefront in providing assistance to people during disasters,” Singh said, adding that with the changing times, there is a need to provide leadership roles by giving opportunities to young blood in the organisation. He said the civil defence organisation should perform a proactive role in addition to the reactive role and suggested that the recommendations made by the group of ministers after the Kargil War and other committees could be considered for the proposed revamping to improve the civil defence organisation.

Source: Economic Times