Thiruvananthapuram: Even as Kerala continues to reel under floods, the state government on Wednesday decided to give an immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 to each affected family, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here.
Addressing the media soon after chairing the weekly cabinet meeting, Vijayan said the damage that has been caused this year is much less compared to the last years.
"This time the latest death toll is 95 and 1.89 lakh people are still in 1,118 relief camps across the state. Landslides have been identified as the main reason for the widespread damage this time," the Chief Minister said.
"Every family who suffered the flood fury will be immediately given Rs 10,000, besides those who lost land and their homes. Those who lost their land will get a compensation of Rs six lakh and Rs four lakh will be given to those who lost their homes completely. If a family has lost both the land and the home, such people will get Rs 10 lakh," he added.
The state government will be asking the State Level Bankers Committee to ensure that all transactions on account of floods, be it contributions to the Chief Minister's Fund or payments to the victims, should be made free of charge.
"A cabinet subcommittee has been formed under the State Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan. He will assess the damages suffered by business and commercial establishments, while a committee of officials led by the Chief Secretary will prepare a memorandum to be submitted to the Centre to seek assistance for damages suffered," said Vijayan.
He also said a lot of canards are being spread about the usage of the Chief Minister's Fund which this is baseless.
"Just as the PM's Fund is being utilised, so in the same way, the CM's Fund is being utilised. While the Relief Fund will be used only for the damages suffered in the fury, there is another fund, which comes through the annual budget allocation for other needs. We have today seen how a person has created a fake ID in the name of relief and we will be taking strict action against it," the Chief Minister said.
"It must be noted that there is a campaign going on that there is an unutilised part of the fund collected last year. It must be noted that funds are released in instalments and not in one go," he added.
He also asked people to contribute freely, especially those who did not take part in the salary challenge, last year.
According to Vijayan, the current disaster has come at a time when the state was readying its blueprint for rebuilding Kerala in the aftermath of last year's floods.
"Various agencies had identified a loss of Rs 31,000 crore in last year's floods, and this figure is going to go up with this year's damages. Now, with this appearing to have become a regular feature, proper planning will be made when the reconstruction takes place, and fragile areas will be marked and no construction or resettlement will be allowed in such areas," he said.