State, Centre apathetic to rebuilding flood-hit Kerala: Congress

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 25 (IANS) The CPI (M)-led Kerala government lacks a blueprint, while the Centre has been meting out a step-motherly treatment to the the flood-hit state, hampering rebuilding efforts, a senior Congress leader said on Sunday.

The monsoon rains that began lashing Kerala on May 29 led to the death of 417 people. The rains and the consequent deluge caused unprecedented destruction and forced more than a million people to take shelter in relief camps.

Ramesh Chennithala, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, told reporters here that today (Sunday) marked 100 days of the worst-ever flood to have hit the state.

“What is most unfortunate is that the Pinarayi Vijayan government has only talked of rebuilding a new Kerala, when they do not even have a blueprint for it. While the loss has been pegged at Rs 40,000 crore, all that has come is a mere Rs 600 crore from the Centre and the state government has managed to raise a mere Rs 3,633.72 crore,” said Chennithala.

Chennithala said that Vijayan had miserably failed to keep his promises to the flood- affected people.

“Around 1.4 million people were displaced and Vijayan had said each one of them would be given Rs 10,000. Even after 100 days, only 5.9 lakh people have got the promised money,” Chennithala added.

The Chief Minister had promised that small traders would be given an interest-free loan of Rs 10 lakh and Rs one lakh would be given as bank loan to buy home appliances that were damaged. However, not one such loan has been sanctioned.

Chennithala added that agricultural crops on 56,439 hectares were damaged, causing a loss of Rs 1,345 crore.

“The primary reason why funds are not coming is that Vijayan went hammer and tongs against the State government employees and sought to coerce them to contribute a month’s salary… Instead of asking for help, he challenged the employees and it resulted in antagonising them,” said Chennithala.

Lashing out at the Centre, Chennithala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi now knows that the Bharatiya Janata Party in Kerala was not going to do any wonders electorally and hence he has taken an anti-Kerala position.

–IANS

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