His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, receives Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Kerala, and his accompanying delegation, at Al Rumailah Palace. Image Credit: wam

Sharjah: The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday that the south Indian state is on the rebound with renewed vigour in all sectors following the devastating floods it experienced last year.

Speaking after inaugurating the Come on Kerala Festival’s Business Conclave in Sharjah, Vijayan said: “We are rebuilding Kerala in such a way that we should be able to overcome any future calamities. We are working on reinstating the lost livelihoods and ensure permanent employment opportunities for our youth back home.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is welcomed with the state’s traditional percussion performance at the 'Come On Kerala Festival' in Sharjah. Video by: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Vijayan announced that the construction of the houses that were damaged in the floods will be completed by this April.

He also said the state requires a fund of Rs310 billion (Dh16.08 billion) for reconstruction.

“Though the support that we have been offered by the Central government is a minuscule percentage of that, we are confident that we will be able to build a new Kerala. We can do that only if we stand united,” he told the expats.

Vijayan hailed the UAE for being the first country to extend its support to Kerala after the floods. “The UAE responded in such a way that the floods happened in its own soil. We remember with great gratitude that this was the first county that offered a helping hand to Kerala,” he said.

“I’m happy that an event like this that promotes trading of products from Kerala and attracts investment to Kerala is happening in this land,” he said appreciating the Madhyamam group for hosting the three-day cultural festival and trade exhibition in Sharjah.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the Department of Sea Ports and Customs in Sharjah, Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul, Kerala legislative assembly speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, Indian parliamentarian P.K. Kunhalikutty and Yousuf Ali M.A., vice-chairman of Norka Roots, also attended the event.