Kerala floods: State cancels all functions for one year, to divert funds for rehabilitation

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In the wake of devastating floods that claimed over 450 lives and cause massive damage to public property, the Kerala government has decided to cancel all official celebrations for one year, news agency ANI reported. Also, the programmes including much-acclaimed International Film Festival of Kerala and other youth festivals will stand cancelled for one year. As per reports, the state government has decided that all money meant for such events will be diverted to CMs Distress Relief Fund for rehabilitation and reconstruction works. An order issued in this regard says that no government department will host any festival for a year, adding that funds earmarked for all such cancelled events would be diverted to the Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). The annual School Arts Festival, which was to be held in December later year, has also been cancelled. Others events that have been cancelled include University Arts fest, all the festivals of the tourism department. According to state government officials, the state has suffered a damage of Rs 30,000 crore in the worst floods to hit the state in a century. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac had last week said that the flood-battered state needs Rs 30,000 crore to rebuild. We require Rs 20,000 for capital expenditure and Rs 10,000 for revenue expenditure, he had said. According to state government data, the flood has claimed 483 lives and the estimated value of destruction is more than the annual outlay of our state.