Kerala decided to approach the Centre to declare it 'drought hit' as Malampuzha in Kerala's Palakaad district recorded the highest temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius in the state for the third consecutive day.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard and also asked the Centre to relax its conditions and guidelines to declare the state as drought hit.
A high-level meeting convened by the Chief Minister had decided to ask the Centre to declare the state drought hit early in the day.
Government also decided to give Rs four lakh assistance to the next of kin of those who had died in the sizzling heat, Revenue minister Adoor Prakash told reporters after the meeting.
Priority will be given for distribution of drinking water and about Rs 13 crore with district collectors will be used.
The worst affected districts are Palakkad, Kollam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta.
There was crop loss in about 1,038 hectares due to drought and the government will provide compensation to farmers.
While Kozhikode recorded 39.1 degrees Celsius, in Kannur it was 37.3 degrees Celsius and 37 at Punalur.
The lowest temperature in the state was 34.4 at Trivandrum airport.
While Malampuzha recorded 41.6 degrees Celsius yesterday, it recorded 41.9 degrees Celsius, the highest in 29 years, on April 26.
From May 2, Kerala is likely to get scattered summer showers, Met office sources said.
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