New Delhi, Nov 22:
Chief Minister Edapadi K Palaniswami along with Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha Thambi Durai called on and briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the devastation caused by the cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ which has claimed 63 lives so far.
Chief Minister Palaniswami sought Rs.14,910 crore as financial assistance from the Centre to undertake restoration and rehabilitation works in the districts affected by cyclone Gaja and an immediate release of Rs.1,431 crore for the ongoing relief works.
Emerging out the 30-minute meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi, the Chief Minister said the Prime Minister had promised to send the Central team as soon as possible to assess the damages in the cyclone-affected areas.
Chief Minister explained to Modi the extent of devastation wrought by the cyclone in several districts, those in the delta being worst affected. Besides, he sought significant financial assistance from the Centre and requested the PM to immediately send a central team to assess damage.
Though enumeration of damages has been completed in many areas, some remote villages are still to be covered. They pointed out that as rains have started again, the damage to standing crops could increase. The State accordingly submited updated information about damages in due course of time.
Horticultural crops over 20,664 hectares had been damaged — Banana (6,000ha), Coffee (4,000 ha), Cashew (4,500 ha), Vegetables (3,000 ha), Flowers (600 ha).According to the memorandum submitted by the chief minister, of Rs.14,910 crore sought for permanent restoration works, a whopping Rs.7,077 crore has been sought for TANGEDCO followed by relief to huts/house damaged (Rs.6,000 crore) and agricultural and horticultural crops (Rs.625 crore). Of the immediate relief of Rs.1,431 crore, the Chief Minister has urged the Centre to give Rs.685 crore for TANGEDCO alone.
The financial assistance for other sectors is as follows : Rural Development (Rs.425 crore), State highways (Rs.378 crore), Animal Husbandry (Rs.150 crore), PWD- Water Resources (Rs.120 crore), Fisheries (Rs.100 crore), town panchayats (Rs.30 crore) and municipalities (Rs.Five crore).