File photo of former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
File photo of former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

Kerala floods: Chandy terms Centre's aid 'disappointing'

ANI | Updated: Aug 22, 2018 20:21 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 22 (ANI): Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday said that the financial assistance sanctioned by the Centre for the devastating floods in the state was "quite disappointing."
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chandy expressed his gratitude for the Prime Minister's visit to the state "in order to assess the gravity of devastating flood situation and to feel the sufferings of our people."
However, Chandy stated that the "financial assistance announced by Government of India is quite disappointing as far as the magnitude of the crisis is concerned. We are expecting reasonable monetary help to wipe the tears of our poor people and to bring them back to normal life."
He further lauded the financial contributions made by various individuals and organisations, both from India and abroad, highlighting the Rs 700 crore that Shaik Mohammed Bin Sayid Al Nahyan, crown prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) donated for the cause.
He also expressed his concerns over reports that the Centre may not accept the contribution made by the crown prince, saying, "Now reports being spread that Government of India denied permission to accept this great monetary help. This decision is quite disappointing to the people of Kerala. Rules should be as such (that they) eradicate the sufferings of the people. If there exist any obstacles against the acceptance of foreign financial aid, kindly look into the matter seriously and bring suitable modifications."
The senior Congress leader also urged the Prime Minister to declare the situation as a national calamity. "Also hope that you will take lenient attitude so as to declare this mishap as 'National Calamity' which will ensure better reconstruction and rehabilitation processes to the drowning people of Kerala," Chandy wrote in the letter.
As many as 357 people have lost their lives so far in the worst floods in over a century that has ravaged Kerala, with the state incurring a loss to the tune of Rs 19,512 crore.
However, with financial aid pouring in from all over the world, the Indian government is sticking to its long-standing policy of not accepting monetary help from foreign countries, deciding to "rely solely on domestic efforts." (ANI)