Nothing free, Centre slaps Rs 102cr bill for IAF's August deluge help

Centre sends Rs 102cr bill to Kerala for use of IAF aircraft, choppers during August floods
Heavy rain caused floods in most parts of Kerala in August last year, claiming hundreds of lives and causing widespread damage.

New Delhi: The Centre has forwarded a bill of Rs 102 crore to the Kerala government for the use of Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters for flood relief operations in the state, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.

In a written reply to a question in the Upper House, Minister of State in the Defence Ministry Subhash Bhamre said during Kerala floods, the IAF had carried out 517 sorties of Fixed Wing aircraft, airlifting 3,787 people and 1,350 tonnes of load, and 634 sorties of helicopters, winching 584 people and airlifting 247 tonnes of load.

"Bills of approximately Rs 102.6 crore have been forwarded to the Kerala government for use of IAF aircraft / helicopters for Kerala flood relief. The recoveries for providing services of IAF aircraft / helicopters are effected from the state government and the administration of Union Territories," Bhamre said.

The Army and the Navy are also preparing details of expenditure with respect to assistance rendered in wake of the floods in Kerala, he said.

Heavy rain caused floods in large parts of Kerala in August last year, claiming hundreds of lives and causing widespread damage.

The assistance by armed forces to civil administration is governed by the "Instructions on aid to Civil Authority by the Armed Forces 1970", wherein recovery of expenditure incurred by the forces in rendering such aid is specified, he said.

The armed forces compile the details of expenditure incurred and forward the same to the state government, Bhamre said.

"The bills duly scrutinised are forwarded by the state government to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for reimbursement," he added.

The armed forces were lauded by many, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, for their efforts during the Kerala flood relief operations.

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