PM to visit Kerala; NCMC plans unprecedented rescue and relief operations
17 August 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kerala and undertake an aerial survey of the flood ravaged areas on Saturday. The prime minister is expected to reach Kochi in the evening today after attending the funeral of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
After an overnight stay at Kochi, the prime minister will undertake an aerial survey of the flood affected areas on Saturday.
Modi has already been in touch with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and has assured all assistance. The prime minister has taken a "positive stand" towards the state on relief measures, Vijayan said on Thursday after he spoke to him for the second time in the past few days.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), which met in New Delhi for the second time in two days to review the rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas in Kerala, decided to mobilise additional resources of all agencies, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), to provide the required assistance to Kerala.
Cabinet secretary P K Sinha, who chaired the meeting, held a video conference with the chief secretaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and directed relief agencies to provide boats, helicopters, life jackets, life buoys, raincoats, gumboots, inflatable tower lights, etc.
Kerala chief secretary requested for motorised boats so as to reach people marooned in flood affected areas.
So far, the centre has mobilised deployment of 339 motorised boats, 2,800 life jackets, 1,400 life buoys, 27 light towers and 1,000 raincoats. Further, 72 motor boats, 5,000 life jackets, 2,000 life buoys, 13 light towers and 1,000 raincoats are being moved to the disaster sites. 1,00,000 food packets have been distributed and arrangements are being made to supply another 1,00,000 food packets. Provision has been made for supply of milk powder as well.
Indian Navy has deployed 51 boats along with diving teams. One thousand life jackets and 1,300 gumboots are being rushed to Kerala today. It flew 16 sorties in 48 hours in rescue operations. It will airdrop 1,600 food packets today.
Coast Guard has deployed 30 boats along with rescue teams, 300 life jackets, seven life rafts and 144 life buoys.
The IAF deployed 23 helicopters and 11 transport aircraft. Some of the aircraft are being flown in from Yelahanka and Nagpur.
Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 Engineering Task Forces (ETFs), 60 boats and 100 life jackets.
NDRF has mobilised 43 rescue teams and 163 boats along with other equipment.
Cabinet secretary directed these organisations to mobilise additional boats and equipment including from CAPFs such as CRPF, BSF and SSB.
Railways has provided 1,20,000 water bottles. Another 1,20,000 bottles are ready to be despatched. It is also running a special train carrying 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water that will reach Kayakulam tomorrow.
Use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala government as the civilian airport remained closed.
Kerala government has been advised to explore use of V-SAT communication links in areas where telephone connectivity has been disrupted.
Cabinet secretary also directed that emergency medicines may be put on standby.
The NCMC will meet again tomorrow to review the situation.