Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced Rs 10 crore worth of immediate relief for the flood-ravaged state of Kerala.

While Rs Five Crore is being transferred from the Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to Kerala CM’s Relief Fund, the remaining Rs Five Crore will be in the form of ready-to-eat food material and other supplies, to be flown out with the help of the Union defence ministry.

An official spokesperson disclosed that the first Air Force sortie was expected to take off tomorrow to deliver 30 tonnes of ready-to-eat foods, such as biscuits, rusks, bottled water, and milk powder, to the flood-hit state.

About one lakh food packets are to be sent in the first consignment. The remaining will be dispatched as and when requisitioned by the Kerala government.

A total of four sorties, carrying 30 tonnes each, would be undertaken, said the spokesperson, adding that the Punjab government was pulling out all the stops to ensure timely relief measures for the crisis-ridden Kerala state. The Punjab Financial Commissioner Revenue had earlier spoken to his Kerala counterpart, on the directives of the CM, to assess the situation and the kind of support required by the Kerala government to deal with the unprecedented flood situation.

Thereafter, officials of the Punjab government got in touch with the Defence Ministry to seek their help in transfer of the relief material, said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, acting on the CM’s appeal, members of the Punjab IAS Officers’ Association have decided to donate one day’s salary each to the CM’s Relief Fund to support the Kerala relief measures. Amarinder has also appealed to other government employees to extend similar help.

The CM has further appealed to various NGOs and philanthropic organisations in Punjab to come forward to extend all possible help to the beleaguered people in Kerala.

It was an extraordinary situation requiring extraordinary measures, he said, stressing the need for the entire nation to come together to help Kerala in this critical time.