New Delhi, Aug 19: With Kerala reeling under worst floods in a century which has left the state devastated, the Union Government has decided to dispatch relief material, including food grains, medicines and other essential commodities, to the flood-hit state.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) today directed the central ministries to focus on providing essential commodities and medicine and restoration of vital services in flood-hit Kerala.
The NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, in its review meeting directed that focus should now be on provision of emergency supplies of food, water, medicines and restoration of essential services such as power, fuel, telecom and transport links as flood water recedes in Kerala. T
The Department of Food and Public Distribution has made available 50,000 metric tonnes of food grains (rice and wheat) to meet the immediate requirements with additional quantities in the pipeline, an official spokesperson said. The Department of Consumer Affairs has made arrangements to airlift 100 metric tonnes of pulses by tomorrow with additional quantities to be sent by train. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has made available 9,300 kilolitres of kerosene to Kerala.
Additional 12,000 kilolitres of kerosene will be allocated. LPG bottling plant in Kochi has been reopened. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is airlifting 60 tonnes of emergency medicines on Monday. It has put six specialised medical teams on standby.
The Railways will provide blankets and bedsheets to meet the immediate requirements of the state government. The Air India has offered to airlift relief material without any cost. The NCMC, which met for the fourth consecutive day, reviewed the rescue and relief operations among the armed forces, NDRF, Ministry of Home Affairs and other central ministries and the Kerala government.
Rescue and relief operations are continuing in full swing with the thousands of personnel of the Indian Navy, Air Force, Army, NDRF and CAPFs are engaged in the rescue, relief and evacuation operations in Kerala with the support of dozens of helicopters, aircrafts, hundreds of motorboats, the spokesperson said.
The operations will continue till the situation becomes normal. So far, they have rescued and evacuated more than 38,000 people from the flood-affected areas. Medical aid has been provided to more than 23,000 people. As many as 3,00,000 food packets have been supplied by the Food Processing Ministry.
The Railways are running two special trains tomorrow to Kolkata from Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam to ensure travel of stranded people. Train services are expected to be restored on all lines by tomorrow evening. A special train with 14,00,000 litres of water and a Navy ship with 8,00,000 litres of water will reach Kerala by tomorrow.
Commercial flights will start operating from Kochi naval base from tomorrow and all logistic arrangements for this have been put in place. The regular NCMC meetings are taking place following the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made an aerial survey of the floods affected areas yesterday.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs