The central government has asked the Kerala government to pay Rs 33 crore towards air lifting operations during this year’s ravaging floods. The letter sent by the Centre has stated that the state government must pay the amount to Controller of Defence Accounts.
The bill also includes airlift services provided by the Indian Air Force during this year’s devastating floods.
The development has evoked angry reactions from both Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Congress. Speaking to reporters, Vijayan said, “We in the recent past have also written to central government, stating that we were expecting the ration including the extra quota of rice and kerosene as free of charge, given as assistance during the floods. But we’ve not received any response to even that.”
Vijayan, according to NDTV, added that the estimated loss in the state had been around Rs 31,000 crore but the state received only Rs 600 crore from the Centre. He said, “And now we have to pay these bills from that money and will be left with even lesser amount. ”
Congress MP from Kerala Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “The Central Govt has given ₹600cr towards damages of ₹31000cr incurred by Kerala, & now wants ₹33cr of it back. Hope they don’t ask the flood-hit state to pay for @PMOIndia ‘s aerial inspection flight as well!”
The Central Govt has given ₹600cr towards damages of ₹31000cr incurred by Kerala, & now wants ₹33cr of it back. Hope they don’t ask the flood-hit state to pay for @PMOIndia ‘s aerial inspection flight as well! https://t.co/snTfKP9ONT
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 29, 2018
A controversy had erupted after Vijayan claimed that the Centre had rejected the offer of help by the UAE, whose sizable population consists of migrants from Kerala.