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Cyclone Ockhi: Kerala CM gives 22 lakh each to families of dead fishermen

IANS | Thiruvananthapuram |

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday handed over Rs 2.2 million each to the family of 25 fishermen who died when Cyclone Ockhi struck the southern districts of Kerala on November 30.

The function was held near here at the coastal hamlet of Vizhinjam. The amount comprises Rs 20 lakh announced by the Kerala government and Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

According to the latest figures released by the state government, the total number of dead from Kerala include 79, while 143 fishermen are still missing.

Speaking on the occasion, Vijayan assured that in three months time after completing all the necessary paper work by the police, the families of the missing fishermen would also be given Rs 2.2 million each.

“Till the paper work is finished and the full compensation is paid, each family of the missing fishermen would get a monthly allowance of Rs 10,000 each. To speed up the paper work, a help desk will be set up in the coastal villages,” said Vijayan.

Vijayan promised that all the rehabilitation schemes that have been announced will become a reality and adequate steps would be in place to keep a record of the fishermen who go for fishing. There would also be a communication facility available with those who go for fishing with the land.

The state government has asked the Centre for immediate assistance of Rs 442 crore, of which Rs 133 crore has already been sanctioned. The Centre has assured that the rest would be handed over to the state very soon.

As a mark of respect for the dead and suffering, the customary New Year’s celebrations at Kovalam beach was cancelled. On Sunday night, the state government held a candle light meeting where 1,000 candles were lighted.