Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced Rs 10 crore worth of immediate relief for flood-hit Kerala.
Out of the total amount, Rs 5 crore is being transferred from the Chief Minister's relief fund, while the remaining money would be given in the form of ready-to-eat food material and other supplies, read a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.
The food material and other supplies will be taken to Kerala with the help of the Defence Ministry.
According to a spokesperson of the government, the first Air Force sortie is expected to take off tomorrow to deliver 30 tonnes of ready-to-eat foods, such as biscuits, rusks, bottled water, and milk powder, to the flood-hit state. About one lakh food packets are to be sent in the first consignment. The remaining will be dispatched as and when requisitioned by the Kerala government.
A total of four sorties, carrying 30 tonnes each, would be undertaken, said the spokesperson, adding that the Punjab government was pulling out all the stops to ensure timely relief measures for the crisis-ridden state.
The Punjab Financial Commissioner, Revenue, had earlier spoken to his Kerala counterpart, on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister, to assess the situation and the kind of support required by the Kerala government to deal with the unprecedented flood situation. Thereafter, officials of the Punjab government got in touch with the Defence Ministry to seek their help in the transfer of the relief material, the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, acting on the Chief Minister's appeal, members of the Punjab IAS Officers' Association have decided to donate one day's salary each to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to support the Kerala relief measures. Captain Amarinder Singh has also appealed to other government employees to extend similar help.
The Chief Minister has also appealed to various NGOs and philanthropic organisations in Punjab to come forward and extend all possible help to the beleaguered people in Kerala. It was an extraordinary situation requiring extraordinary measures, he said, stressing the need for the entire nation to come together to help Kerala in this critical time.
So far, the Centre has mobilised deployment of 339 motorised boats, 2800 life jackets, 1400 lifebuoys, 27 light towers and 1000 raincoats. Further, 72 motor boats, 5000 life jackets, 2000 life buoys, 13 light towers and 1000 raincoats are being deployed. As many as one lakh food packets have been distributed and arrangements are being made to supply another one lakh food packets. Provision has been made for supply of milk powder as well.
Besides that, the Indian Navy has deployed 51 boats along with diving teams, 1000 life jackets, and 1300 gumboots. It flew 16 sorties in 48 hours in rescue operations.
Kerala has been witnessing acute flood situation owing to incessant rain. So far, 167 people have lost their lives in the state.