THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that a joint operation of Central, state forces and the effort put by the local people helped the rescue operations and could save 58,506 people on Saturday. He was addressing media persons after a high-level review meeting.
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Pinarayi Vijayan said that 33 people were found dead on Saturday. He said that 22 helicopters, 83 Naval boats, 57 NDRF teams and boats, 5 BSF teams, 35 teams of the coast guard and their boats, 25 Army teams, 59 Kerala fire force teams, fire force teams from Tamil Nadu and Odisha, 600 boats of fishermen, 40,000 Kerala police personnel and 3200 firemen along with general public and various social organisations took part in the relief work on Saturday.
Chief Minister said that he was briefing the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defense minister on a daily basis ever since the crisis has erupted. He said that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had come to the state and did an areal survey and announced an interim relief of 100 crores and on Saturday the Prime Minister himself had come to oversee the situation and had announced an interim relief of 500 crores.
Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state had requested the centre for an assistance of Rs 19,512 crores and an immediate assistance of Rs 2000 crores.
Chief Minister also said that never in the history of the state has the army done any disaster relief operations on its own and had always assisted the civil administration. He pointed out the instances of the flood in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu and the earthquakes in Gujarat.
He added that even though Jammu and Kashmir is a problem state the Army had entered into flood relief operations in that state with the support of the state administration.
Pinarayi Vijayan said that in addition to the central government support, other state governments have also promised financial support and support of grains and other food materials.
He said that Telangana has promised a support of Rs 25 crore, Maharashtra Rs 20 crore,Uttar Pradesh Rs 15 crore, Madhya Pradesh Rs 10 crore, Delhi Rs 10 crore, Punjab Rs 10 crore, Karnataka Rs 10 crore, Bihar Rs 10 crore, Gujarat Rs 10 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 5 crore, Odisha Rs 5 crore, Chattisgarh Rs 3 crore and rice worth Rs 7 crore.
Chief Minister said that the state has faced the flood of the century and had tried to overcome this with the support of the people of the state and with Central government support. He said that the state is unique as its population density is more than double that of the national.
To a question on the Leader of opposition’s criticism that the operation should have been handed over to the Armed forces, Pinarayi Vijayan said: "I have already answered that and we are fighting this crisis together and I don't want to comment on this.”
Pinarayi Vijayan also said that the review meetings will take place on a day to day basis and even after the crisis is over, there will be meetings as there are several other processes remaining after the crisis comes to an end including cleaning, medical aid and other necessary things.