Rebuilding Kerala will be a Herculean task: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

The CM said the cost of constructing and reviving activities would amount to the state’s one-year plan outlay
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (File | PTI)
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (File | PTI)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the state is coming out of one of its worst tragedies, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has pointed out that the state economy has suffered the biggest blow. Speaking after a high-level review meeting on Monday night, the CM assured that the rescue work will continue till the last person stranded is rescued.

Indicating that rebuilding Kerala would be a Herculean task, the CM said the cost of constructing and reviving activities would amount to the state’s one-year plan outlay. As per a preliminary assessment of the damage, the total loss would come to around `20,000 crore.

“This year’s plan outlay is ` 37,248 crore. Of this, the construction capital would come to `10,330 crore. It should give an idea about the mammoth task that lies ahead. We will require an amount equivalent to one-year’s plan outlay for rebuilding the state. Or we will have to forgo the entire developmental activities for a year. The state’s economy has suffered the biggest blow,” he said.

Pinarayi added that the construction-revival activities can be compared to running a five-year plan.That’s the biggest challenge before the state now. So, whatever support the state gets from anywhere, including Central assistance, would not be more, he said.

He urged NGOs and organisations to come forward to handle the rehabilitation work. CII has offered to repair 1,000 damaged houses, while the Uralungal Society has agreed to provide 200 plumbers.

Wet note exchange
The Reserve Bank of India has agreed to exchange the currency notes that got wet in the floods. The RBI agreed to a request in this regard from the state government.

Central assistance
The Centre has pointed out some technical issues in declaring the Kerala floods as a national disaster. However, the state is in the process of assessing the total loss and demand assistance for the same. Going by the current approach, the state is hopeful that the Centre will provide enough assistance, said Pinarayi Vijayan.

CMO decisions
Each relief camp will have an officer in-charge. Those who want to support the relief and provide assistance to those in the camps should do so through the officer. Directly providing relief materials won’t be encouraged. Many NGOs and political parties are coming to the camps. They should avoid displaying their symbols and brands.

The CM requests people to avoid lavishness and extravaganza for celebrations. Instead, the money should be contributed to the CM’s Distress Relief Fund.

There have been reports of isolated incidents of theft at houses vacated by the flood-hit. Action to be taken.

Wrong practices of fund collection for relief work also reported. Such things cannot be permitted.
LSGD heads collecting their own distress relief funds is not a desirable trend, says CM.

Fishermen who took part in rescue work to be honoured at a function in the state capital on 29 August. The CM appreciates the work done by youngsters and vehicle owners in rescue work.

Guest labourers in the state to be provided food and support by the LSGDs concerned.

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The New Indian Express