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Kerala floods: Rajnath Singh surveys rain-battered areas; Sushma Swaraj assures passport replacement free of cost

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Nabanita Chakorborty | Updated on: 12 Aug 2018, 10:01:01 PM
Kerala flood: Rajnath Singh surveys flood-hit areas (File Photo)

New Delhi:

In view of the deadliest flood in Kerala, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday made an aerial survey of two rain-battered districts in the southern state. The situation in the state was "very serious," Singh said.

Singh was speaking to reporters at the Kochi airport, moments after he conducted the aerial survey of Idukki and Ernakulam districts.

The home minister has also met the victims of Kerala floods and said, 'I would like to assure the state government that all resources will be provided from central government to fight this flood situation".

"Centre is extremely sensitive to the needs of the Kerala state at this critical juncture. The first installment of Rs 80.25 Crore of the Central share of SDRF for 2018-19 was released last month only," he wrote on Twitter before leaving for Kerala.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister KJ Alphons were also present during the survey.

In what could be a big relief for all the flood-affected people, EAM Sushma Swaraj said that all the passports damaged on account of floods will be replaced free of charge.

"There are unprecedented floods in Kerala causing huge damage. We've decided that as the situation becomes normal,passports damaged on account of floods shall be replaced free of charge.Please contact the concerned Passport Kendras," Swaraj wrote on Twitter.

Read | Kerala flood situation worsens; toll rises to 37, more rains alert

The death toll due to a series of landslides and monsoon fury has already reached over 30, forcing the Kerala government to remain on high alert with possibility of more water release from the Idukki reservoir.

“33 people have died in the floods and 6 are missing. Such a destruction has never before been witnessed in the state. The entire state has come together in these circumstances and we are ready to do whatever is necessary,” CM Vijayan said.

“State Police, NDRF, Army and other forces are working with the same motive - to help the people of the state. The PM called us and said that any more help needed, will be provided to us,” Vijayan added.

The chief minister has also requested an amount of Rs 400 crore from the Centre in addition to Rs. 820 Crore already sought for carrying out immediate relief and rehabilitation.

A Central team to assess the damage will also reach Kerala anytime soon. Nearly 20,000 houses have been disgigured while at least 10,000 km of state PWD roads were damaged due to incessant rains across the state.

10 columns of India Army, comprising more than 40 composite teams are working round the clock to rescue all the stranded person at remote flood-hit areas across the state. A total of more than 1000 people including elderly women and children have been rescued from various locations so far.

Read | Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia for flood victims

"Troops are relentlessly involved in rescue operations fighting bad weather, poor communications and connectivity," the Indian Army said.

Earlier in the day, the army has also restored connectivity to Virinjapara in Mankulam area of Idukki district. The concrete bridge connecting the village had washed away after being pounded by rains for the past few days. Over 800 families reside in the village.

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First Published : 12 Aug 2018, 06:18:04 PM