THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has sought Central assistance for disaster management-related activities in the state and modernisation of the State police force.
This year, the state will get Rs 60 crore for modernising the police force. The state has sought Rs 200 crore assistance from the Union Government for the disaster insurance scheme.
In a meeting of Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Saturday, the latter agreed to favourably consider Kerala’s demands.
At a press conference after the meeting with the Union Minister, Chennithala said that the state had requested for more funds from the Centre for modernising the police force. This year Kerala will get funds to the tune of Rs 60 crore. It is expected that in the coming years, more funds would be granted.
“A total of Rs 1,500 crore is earmarked for the purpose in the Union Budget. More funds are needed for Kerala to set up new police stations, purchase new vehicles and construct police quarters,” the Minister said.
Kerala has sought Central aid for the Rs 192.05-crore ‘Nirbhaya Keralam, Surakshitha Keralam’ project aimed at ensuring the safety of women and children. An amount of Rs 6.5 crore has been earmarked for the project in the state budget.
The state has requested that funds should be allotted for the project under Union Government’s ‘Nirbhaya Fund’. The initiative, which started as a pilot project in Kochi, will be implemented in seven districts in the state, Chennithala said.
Other demands by the state include setting up the National Coastal Academy near the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. The state has already identified land for the project based on an earlier promise by the Centre.
More funds have been sought for upgrading the Civil Defence Training Institute in Thrissur to national level and additional funds for the Fire and Rescue Services in the state.
Chennithala said that the Student Police Cadets scheme in the state would be initiated in four Kerala schools in New Delhi.
Central assistance of Rs 200 crore has been sought for the public insurance scheme for disaster victims, Adoor Prakash said.
The state also requested that damages owing to sea attack, lightning and snake bite should also be included in the category of natural disasters.
Also, demands were raised for including disaster management in the school and college syllabi (Rs 100 crore) and strengthening the Disaster Management Department (Rs 25 crore), the Revenue Minister said.
Additional Chief Secretary Nivedita P Haran and Disaster Management Authority members Sekhar L Kuriakose and Kesav Mohan also accompanied the ministers.