Kerala wants to be declared drought hit

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Thiruvananthapuram, April 28 (IANS) Kerala wants the central government to declare the state drought hit, it was announced on Thursday.

A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy decided to accept the recommendation of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) that the state must be declared drought hit.

The meeting was attended by senior cabinet ministers and top officials from various departments.

Chandy will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the union home and agriculture ministers to see that certain relaxation of norms were made so as to enable the central government to declare Kerala drought hit.

“If these relaxations are made, then we will get central assistances to tide over the situation the state is facing due to the heat wave,” Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash told reporters.

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Prakash said Kasargode district was the worst hit due to shortage of drinking water. The heat wave has affected Kollam and Palakkad districts the worst. The situation was bad in the other 11 districts too.

The present heat wave was the worst in five years.

Thursday’s meeting also decided to give a compensation of Rs.4 lakh to those who died due to the heat wave.

The meeting also decided to release water from dams into canals.

“This will enable water to reach the people and at certain areas water will be let into lakes and rivers, thereby enabling recharging of groundwater. So wells will have water,” Water Resources Secretary V.J. Kurian said.

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