Kerala gets IAF flood bill
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested defence minister Rajnath Singh to exempt the state from paying over Rs 113 crore to the IAF for the rescue operations carried out by the force during the 2018 floods, citing financial inability of the state.
In a letter dated July 25, Vijayan said the state government received a bill of Rs 113.69 crore from the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Explaining the inability to pay the amount, the chief minister pointed out that the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report prepared by the United Nations, which said Rs 31,000 crore was required for restoration of damaged infrastructure and other losses.
“You would appreciate that in such a situation, it is difficult to find such a huge amount due to the Indian Air Force from the State Disaster Response Fund. I would, therefore, request your kind consideration to exempt the payment of Rs 113.69 crore to the IAF considering the present situation of Kerala,” Vijayan said.
The chief minister said the state received a “very meagre” amount of Rs 2,904 crore as additional assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
“The state of Kerala was struck by Cyclone Ockhi in 2017 and floods in 2018 which caused immense damage to life and property and created a stress on the already fragile financial situation of the state,” Vijayan said in the letter.
The chief minister said the state has launched Rebuild Kerala Initiative and the government needs more resources for this purpose.