Kerala floods LIVE: Rahul Gandhi meets flood-affected people in Chengannur

Over 350 people have lost their lives so far and 869,000 are still in relief camps, with Kerala facing a loss of around Rs 20 billion

Image BS Web Team New Delhi
Kerala floods

A view of the flood affected areas, in Kochi on Sunday, Aug 19, 2018.

Kerala floods: With water starting to recede in some of the flooded parts of Kerala, restoration process has been expedited in the state.

The Chief Minister Officer (CMO) in Kerala on Saturday tweeted that at least 1, 31, 683 houses wrecked in the floods have been cleaned, which is 31 per cent of the total flood-hit houses.

It also added, "Electricity restored for 2.3 million connections of the 2.5 million disrupted. 14,314 transformers (out of 16158 affected) are now functioning."

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday gave details saying, "Rs.10,000 will be transferred to the bank accounts of people who will leave relief camps and also to the people who have already left."

The Central Government has provided Rs.6 billion as advance assistance. 

Out of a total population of about 34.8 million, more than 5.4 million or one-sixth of the population of Kerala, had been directly affected by the floods.

As many as 357 people have lost their lives so far, with the state facing a loss of Rs 195.12 billion and over 10,00,000 people are packed into relief camps.

On Thursday, the Centre announced that additional funds would be released from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) on assessment of the damages in the flood-hit state as per laid down procedure. 
That states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and several others have extended help to the state. Celebrities from various fields too offered aid in the wake of the situation.

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Flight operations from Cochin airport to resume on August 29

Flight operations from the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) airport, which suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 2.2 billion due to floods, will resume on August 29.
The airport, among the busiest in the country, had been rendered non-functional since August 14 due to flooding and torrential rains.
"CIAL is all set to commence full-scale operations (both international and domestic) at 2 PM on August 29," a CIAL spokesperson said here in a statement.
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Kerala floods: CBSE to provide digital certificates to students

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday announced to provide digital mark sheets, migration certificates and pass certificates to the students from CBSE affiliated schools in Kerala as they might have lost them in the recent floods.
"Over 1,300 schools are affiliated to the CBSE in Kerala. Board exam academic documents are crucial for admission for higher studies and employment etc. CBSE, in technical collaboration with NeGD, developed its own and first of its kind digital academic repository called 'Parinam Manjusha'," read a statement from CBSE.
This academic repository has been integrated with DigiLocker - a service operated by the government that enables citizens to store certain official documents on the cloud.
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Kerala will soon launch a mobile application to estimate the damages that were caused by the devastating floods in the state and will accordingly compensate individuals, the District Magistrate of Ernakulam said.
Speaking to ANI, Mohammed Y. Safirulla said, "There is a planned structure that will evaluate the losses faced by all families. It will be completely transparent. The data will be shared with the public. Even independent bodies can access that data so that they can help individuals or specific areas."
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Kerala CM urges Malayalis to donate one month salary

In a Facebook post, Vijayan said, "We can overcome any hurdle if Malayalis across the world stand united. Money will not be a hurdle for rebuilding Kerala. Let Malayalis across the world contribute their one month's salary for rebuilding the state. We should think about this."
"Everyone won't be able to give their one month's salary together. You can give it in ten month's time. The non-resident Malayalis should try to ensure the support of those who are with them," he added.
There are still 4.62 lakh people in 1,435 relief camps. At least three lakh houses have been cleaned so far.
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Rahul will reach the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram on August 28 following which he will visit the flood-affected areas of Chengannur, Alappuzha and Angamaly.
On the second day of his visit, the Congress chief is scheduled to visit Wayanad district.
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Flood-ravaged Kerala's wait for full central aid package could be long

Flood-ravaged Kerala may have to wait a few months to get the complete financial aid package from the Centre as the process of assessing the extent of damage and fund release is time-consuming, officials said.
After the initial release of funds, the Central government follows certain rules and guidelines before awarding the final aid to any state for a natural calamity, said a home ministry official, privy to such circumstances. The Centre has so far released Rs 6 billion for Kerala, which witnessed its worst flood in a century. The death toll in Kerala floods has touched 293 since August 8 while 15 people are still missing. Read more...
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GST Council yet to receive formal cess proposal from flood-hit Kerala

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is yet to get a formal proposal from the government of Kerala for a cess to fund post-flood rehabilitation. 

Thomas Isaac, the state’s finance minister, had said he would be doing so, with a request for permission to levy one on the State GST (SGST). The latter, he had argued, was purely an intra-state tax and so, “there is no logic in denying (such a request). We want to have a 10 per cent cess on SGST, which I think will get us some Rs 10 billion", he had said.

On how the Council would respond, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi said if this was legally possible under the GST Act or rules, they would okay this, for a limited period.  Read more
8:03 PM

More people leave relief camps, cleaning in high gear

More and more people on Sunday quit various relief camps in flood-battered Kerala and returned to tidy up their once submerged homes.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that 1,435 relief shelters were still operating, housing a total of 462,456 people, down from 6,05,000 people in 1,822 camps on Saturday.
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Aid given is advance, more to follow : PM tells Kerala Governor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured Kerala Governor P Sathasivam that the flood ravaged state would get more central funds from the National Disaster Response Fund as per laid down procedure.

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Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy urged the BJP-led Centre on Sunday to refrain from putting obstacles in the way of foreign government aid coming to Kerala, ravaged by the most devastating floods in nearly a century.
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Mahatma Gandhi, through a series of articles in his publications 'Young India' and 'Navajivan', had urged people of the country to generously contribute for the relief of the flood-hit' Malabar' (Kerala)
He said, "A sister has donated her four bracelets and a chain of pure gold. Another sister has given her heavy necklace. A child has parted with his gold trinket and a sister with her silver anklets."

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Flood-ravaged Kerala may have to wait a few months to get the complete financial aid package from the Centre as the process of assessing the extent of damage and fund release is time-consuming, officials said.
After the initial release of funds, the central government follows certain rules and guidelines before awarding the final aid to any state for a natural calamity, a Home Ministry official, privy to such circumstances, said.
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Nation stands in solidarity with flood-hit Kerala, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed solidarity with Kerala and said that people from all walks of life across the country have come in support of those whose lives were devastated in the massive floods.
"In today's pressing, hard times, the entire nation is with Kerala. Our sympathies are with those families who lost their loved ones. Loss of lives cannot be compensated, but I assure the grief-stricken families that in this moment of suffering and misery, 125 crore Indians stand by them," Modi said in his monthly "Mann Ki Baat" programme.
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Flood-ravaged Kerala, for which tourism is the mainstay of its economy, is staring at 4 to 5 per cent decline in footfalls if the sector does not pick up from October, a senior tourism official has said.
The busiest airport in Kochi has been shut since August 16 and is expected to resume operations only from August 29.
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Experts raise questions on preventive steps, dam management; writes Gireesh Babu
Since many of the dams are inter-connected, experts believe that mismanaging just one of them can cause a disproportionate ripple effect
Does Kerala need an early warning system for its dams? A protocol for emptying the reservoirs before the monsoon perhaps? What about a drainage and canal master plan for the cities? 
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First Published: Aug 21 2018 | 3:31 PM IST

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