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Kerala to seek Rs 757 cr central aid
December 29, 2004 20:54 IST
The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to seek Rs 757 crore from the Centre for relief and rehabilitation works in the tsunami-affected areas in the state.
Talking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said a memorandum will be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visits the state on Thursday to take stock of the situation in the state.
So far, 162 bodies have been recovered from the areas affected by the waves. The highest number of deaths was in Kollam , followed by Alappuzha , Ernakulam  and Kannur .
Chandy said the PM will visit Karunagappally in Kollam and Kayamkulam.
To provide relief to fishermen in the affected coastal areas, the proceedings to recover loans from them has been suspended for six months, he said. Steps are also being taken to provide them low-interest loans, he added.
According to Chandy, about 1.5 lakh people are staying in the 212 relief camps set up for those affected by the tsunamis.
The CM said the Cabinet has also decided to set up a disaster management mechanism to be forewarned about natural calamities.
An expert committee will be set up to work out the modalities for the mechanism, he said. The committee will also look into the construction of anti-disaster shelters, he added.
Chandy said the panel will be asked to submit its report within two weeks.
Earlier in the day, the CM held talks with scientists of various organisations regarding the mechanism to be set up.
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