Even after such huge disaster by floods in Kerala. Why Centre even after huge disaster did not declare Kerala floods as national disaster?.
The central government of India on Monday submitted in Kerala high court that the floods in Kerala had been categorised as a catastrophe. While responding to a petition seeking to declare the floods as a national disaster, the Centre said there was no provision in statutes or manuals to declare a disaster as ‘national calamity’.
During the hearing of the case, the high court has asked the state government to make its rehabilitation measures more transparent.
In a statement filed to the high court by ministry of home affairs , it is stated that four NDRF teams consisting of 166 rescuers were already deployed on 13 boats when the Union minister Kiren Rijiju visited the state on 21 July . An help of Rs 80.25 crore was announced by MHA’s minister for state. It was also decided to depute an inter-ministerial central team to consider additional relief from NDRF on priority.
As the situation of flood and landslides worsened, home minister Rajnath Singh visited affected areas on 12August and made aerial survey at Adimali, Aluva, Paravur and Cheruthoni-Idukki dam and immediate areas downstream. He also announced release of 100 crore rupees in advance from NDRF. Singh also assured additional teams of Air Force, NDRF, Army, and Coast Guard for deployment.
On 16th August, a meeting of national crisis management committee was held to ensure continued and scaledup assistance to Kerala. In the meeting which was chaired by union cabinet secretary, directive was issued for immediate and continued assistance. By 16 August , 18 teams of NDRF and eight teams of engineering task force (ETF) of Army, 22 teams of Coast Guard, despatched for rescue operations.
on August 17 NCMC met again and the cabinet secretary held a video conference with the chief secretaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. By 17 August, Centre had mobilized 339 motor boats, 1,400 lifebuoys, 2,800 lifejackets, 27 light towers, and 1,000 raincoats. Further, 5,000 lifejackets, 72 motor boats, 2,000 lifebuoys, 13 light towers, and 1,000 rain coats were being deployed as on August 17. Till then, 1 lakh food packets were distributed and arrangements were made to supply another 1 lakh, the court was informed.
By 17August , Navy had deployed 51boats and had flown 16 sorties in 48 hours for rescue operations. Air Force deployed 23 helicopters and 11 transport aircraft. Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 ETFs, and 60 boats. The cabinet secretary directed these organizations to mobilize additional boats and equipment, MHA’s affidavit stated.
Railways also have offered to run special trains from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam as per the requirement of the state government to distribute food and medicines to all stations on the way, the court was told.
NCMC meeting reviewed various measures to restore LpG, power lines, petrol pumps, health facilities, and provide necessary medicines, food, fodder, etc.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kerala on 18 August and reviewed the situation. Financial assistance of Rs500 crore was announced. As on August 18, the Centre had made available food, water, and medicines, which included three lakh food packets, 6 lakh metric tonnes of milk, 14 lakh litres of drinking water.