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Kerala seeks Rs. 351-crore Central aid for flood relief

Special Correspondent

Central team finds memorandums defective in certain respects

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Government sought about Rs.351 crores as assistance from the Centre for flood relief measures, during the discussions Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had with the visiting Central team here on Thursday.

The Government, however, may have to revise its demands further as the team has observed that the memorandum and the supplementary memorandum submitted by the Government were defective in certain respects. Some of the figures have already been revised.

There are some grey areas that need to be seen in the proper perspective, the team leader S. K. Chatopadhyay (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs) told mediapersons after the discussions.

Mr. Chatopadhyay said the team might prepare its report in ten days. There was no hard and fast time-frame. The State Government might come up with supplementary memorandum in the coming days.

He said that though the team had not visited some of the affected areas, it had taken the presentation of the State Government at face value.

Revenue Minister K. M. Mani said that the Central team had pointed out that the State was not eligible for some of the funds sought. Accordingly, the requirement of Rs.337.56 crores cited originally had been recalculated as Rs.222.12 crores. To this, the requirements for pending payments and anticipated expenditure for relief during the North-West monsoon and drought in March next year had been added.

The anticipated expenditure, calculated at ten per cent above the expenditure, came to Rs.121 crores.

The Minister said that the requirement shown earlier was higher because the Government calculation was based on actual losses The claim of Rs.48.50 crores relating to damage to National Highways had to be deleted. The claim on National Highway was dropped, as it is not a fund received by the State Government but allotted by the Centre directly. However, the Government added additional requirements for panchayats, water supply, roads and building, agriculture and animal husbandry, taking the total requirement to Rs.333.28 crores.

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