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Cheques, Demand Drafts Worth Rs 3.26 Crore Given for Kerala Flood Relief Bounced

Clocking Rs 713.9 crore, the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund had shown a record contribution in 14 days in August 2018

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Updated:January 22, 2019, 2:21 PM IST
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Cheques, Demand Drafts Worth Rs 3.26 Crore Given for Kerala Flood Relief Bounced
File photo of a partially submerged house in flood waters in Kerala. (Image: AP)
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Thiruvananthapuram: Was it a publicity gimmick in the face of disaster? Going by the latest stats, a part of the public gesture during the 2018 Kerala floods was nothing more than a bid to hog the limelight in the face of adversity.

Contribution to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), worth Rs 3.26 crore through cheques and demand drafts were dishonoured by banks. The details came to light as a reply to an unstarred question raised by Kasargod legislator NA Nellikkunnu in the assembly on Tuesday. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said these comprise 395 cheques and demand drafts.

A sum of Rs 2,797.67 crore had flown into the CMDRF till November 30, 2018 of which Rs 260.45 crore came via online transfer and Rs 2,537.22 crore comprise cheques, cash and demand drafts. Cheques alone are worth Rs 7.46 crore.

“The high number of dishonoured cheques proves that there were many out there vying for publicity during the floods,” Nellikkunnu is quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

The latest figures show an inflow of Rs 3226.21 crore and an expenditure of Rs 1199.69 crore in the CMDRF.

The fund had shown a record contribution in just 14 days in August 2018. Beginning August 14, 2018, it clocked Rs 713.9 crore in two-weeks.

Apart from the chief minister himself making a plea to contribute and help the state reel back to normalcy, there has been rigorous campaign from netizens and social media groups to accelerate the momentum.

Active contribution of celebrities from Kerala and other language industries was another reason that triggered public participation in helping the state to overcome the impact of floods.

As many as 7.37 lakh people became immediate beneficiaries of the CMRDF, according to the data available till December 2018 and Rs 457.30 crore was spent towards this.

Those who lost their dwellings numbered in lakhs. Of this, 2,43,207 lakh households were given aid to be rebuilt at a cost of 1,256.55 crore. Ernakulam (1,93,448) and Alappuzha (1,66,345) topped the list of beneficiaries, closely followed by Thrissur (1,35,784).

Meanwhile, a Lokayukta bench, comprising Justice Pius C Kuriakose, Justice KP Balachandran and Justice AK Basheer, issued a notice to the chief minister and cabinet ministers last week for alleged mismanagement of CMDRF.
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