Declare Kerala floods as national disaster: NCP

New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday urged the Central Government to declare the Kerala floods as a national disaster.

Addressing a press conference here, Pawar said, “We have adopted a resolution on the situation of Kerala. The resolution about the calamity in Kerala due to recent floods, says that the central government should announce it as a national disaster.”

He stated that the torrential rains in the southern state had caused a damage of nearly Rs 20,000 crore, including agriculture, electricity, telecommunications, housing, and industries.

Expressing concerns on the financial assistance provided by the Centre, Pawar further said, “The Centre had initially allotted Rs. 100 crore. The Prime Minister had also visited Kerala and saw the damages. After that, he announced another Rs. 500 crore. That amounts to Rs. 600 crore. It is the responsibility of the central government to support the people of the state in this hour of the crisis.”

Listing few demands for facilitating financial help in the flood-stricken state, the NCP president elucidated, “The Centre should grant sufficient financial assistance to the Kerala government. They should allot necessary food grains free of cost. Sufficient compensation should be given to the people who have been affected in the crisis.”

Earlier in the day, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to Kerala, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to disburse sufficient funds for the flood-ravaged state to expedite the restoration work.

While addressing the media, the Gandhi scion said, “I would have liked if the central government would have extended more support to the people of Kerala. I think getting more aid is their (Kerala flood victims) right and I am sad that the government has not given as much as they should have given.”

Rahul also assured the people of Kerala that his party will help rebuild their houses, which were destroyed due to the heavy downpour in the state.

The Congress President, who visited the victims housed in various relief camps in Kerala, also urged the state government to speed up the process of releasing the compensation of Rs 10,000 to each victim.

The worst deluge of the century has killed at least 357 people in Kerala and rendered over three lakh homeless.