Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended Rs. 700 crore as financial assistance to rebuild the flood-ravaged state, where more than 350 people have lost their lives so far.
“Many have come forward to help Kerala. Besides the aid from various states, other nations have also been extending assistance to the flood-hit region. UAE has put forward a relief package and the Gulf nations have been helping us on all fronts,” Vijayan said.
The UAE is home to several people from Kerala who have moved there. According to estimates, there are 2 million Indians in the UAE, who form around 30 per cent of the country’s population.
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2018
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil to donate Rs 50 crore
In addition, an NRI billionaire, Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, will donate Rs 50 crore for the relief of flood victims in Kerala. This is the largest individual contribution so far.
Vayalil will set up a project, which will provide solutions for three issues the victims face – housing, healthcare and education.
“This is a very difficult time for Kerala. The state has been suffering from abnormally high rains and floods for almost a month now. Keralites are pulling together all their resources to fight this natural calamity and we believe it is our duty to join them. Hence, I will donate Rs 50 crore to help the flood victims across the state. This is for housing, healthcare and the educational needs of the flood victims and this project will be my immediate priority. It is the occasion of venerable Eid and also that of an auspicious Onam – all the more reasons to take this decision for alleviating the sorrow of Kerala”, Vayalil said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has declared Kerala floods of ‘severe nature’, and the Centre exempted basic customs duty and IGST on goods supplied for Kerala relief operations.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook an aerial survey of the affected areas and announced Rs. 500 crore in aid, a fourth of the amount sought by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. The financial assistance of Rs. 500 crore was announced in addition to Rs. 100 crore announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on August 12.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the deluge has led to a loss of over Rs. 19,000 crore and has sought an immediate assistance of Rs 2,000 crore. “As per the initial estimate, the state has suffered a loss of Rs. 19,512 crore. The actual loss can be ascertained after the water recedes in the affected areas. The state has sought an immediate assistance of Rs. 2,000 crore“, he said.
A total of 169 NDRF teams have been deputed to rescue stranded people across the state. This is NDRF’s biggest-ever relief and rescue operation in the country till date.