Cyclone Vardah: Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam asks for Rs 1,000 crore for relief from Centre

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund to the state for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in the wake of the havoc wrought by cyclone Vardah.

In a letter to Modi, he also requested that a team be deputed to study the damage caused by the cyclone in Chennai and neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur.

“I request you to urgently sanction the release of an ‘on account’ payment of Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund to the Government of Tamil Nadu to enable immediate relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction measures to proceed expeditiously,” he said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

This request was being made as relief, rehabilitation and immediate reconstruction measures had to be undertaken by the government along with urban and rural local bodies in the area affected by the cyclone, which was beyond the funds available in the State Disaster Response Fund, he said.

He said the state government had swung into action and taken precautionary measures on receipt of information from the Meteorological department about cyclone Vardah, which had caused extensive damage to state infrastructure and property.

High level teams, comprising Ministers and senior IAS officers were deputed to the badly hit Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts to monitor relief operations.

Several teams of officials of various departments, including revenue, Police, Fire and Rescue services, PWD, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd, water supply and other local bodies were deployed to take up necessary interventions, he said.

Besides the services of National Disaster Response Force, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard were “requisitioned”, he said and thanked Modi for prompt response in dispatching the Central forces.

Stating that 16 people had died in rain related incidents linked to the cyclone, he said more than 15,000 people in low lying areas were evacuated to 104 relief camps and provided food, water and medical services.

Giving details of the damage, he said Vardah had uprooted more than 12,000 trees, damaged more than 10,000 electric poles and 800 transformers in the city and Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts, as also transmission lines, substations and distribution lines, badly affecting power supply.

The immediate priority was to restore power supply to affected areas, Panneerselvam said.

He said Government has taken up a detailed exercise to assess the damage and requirement of funds for relief works.

“State government will present a detailed memorandum (to the Centre) on the extensive damage suffered due to cyclone Vardah in next few days”, he said.

First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 10:17 IST

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