New Delhi, Aug 20: The Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, during the review meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) , has 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.
NCMC met for the fourth time today in four days to coordinate rescue and relief operations among the Defence Forces, NDRF, MHA and other Central Ministries and Kerala Government.
Rescue and Relief Operations are continuing in full swing. Thousands of personnel of 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 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. 3,00,000 food packets have been supplied by the Food Processing Ministry.
Railways are running two special trains tomorrow to Kolkata originating from Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. Train services are expected to be restored on all lines by Monday 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 Monday, 20th August. All logistic arrangements for this have been put in place.
The Department of Food and Public Distribution has made available 50,000 MT of food grains (rice and wheat) to meet the immediate requirements with additional quantities in the pipeline. 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 State Government. Air India has offered to airlift relief material without any cost.
The NCMC, which has commenced its meetings on the directions of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will meet again tomorrow to review the situation. Today's meeting was attended by Secretaries of Central Ministries including Home, Defence, Health, Civil Aviation, Food Processing and Power, Chairman, Railway Board and Senior Officers of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, NDRF, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Chief Secretary, Kerala participated through video conference. He informed that the situation is gradually improving. India Meteorological Department has forecast less rainfall from tomorrow onwards for Kerala.