Over a month after Cyclone Gaja hit the coastal and delta districts of Tamil Nadu, representatives from the state briefed the parliamentary committee on finance about the damages on Tuesday. The state government’s demand for Rs 15,000 crore for permanent rehabilitation of affected districts has also been reiterated.
According to one report in the Times of India, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, along with bureaucrats from the Revenue and Finance Departments reportedly made a case for central assistance for rehabilitation efforts in the three-hour long session. According to the newspaper, AIADMK Members of Parliament from the delta regions were also present.
ToI reports that the parliamentary committee would be calling for a second session in the presence of the Union Home Secretary, Finance Secretary and other representatives of disaster management departments on December 27.
A week after the cyclone struck, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has sought funds from the central government towards permanent rehabilitation of the affected districts. He met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Following the Chief Minister’s meeting with the Prime Minister, a central team was dispatched to assess the damage in the state.
Of the Rs 15,000 crore requested towards permanent rehabilitation, a major share will go towards restoring power and providing houses to the affected people. According to the memorandum presented to the Prime Minister, Rs 7,077 crore has been requested for Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) for restoring electricity in the affected areas, and Rs 6,000 crore for providing relief to those who had lost their homes partially or completely to the cyclone.
Cyclone Gaja made landfall near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district in the wee hours of November 16. After the landfall, it moved to interior Tamil Nadu where it caused extensive damage to crops and property and cut off the electrical, telecommunication and road connectivity to the districts. The official death toll due to the cyclone stands at 63 and more than 3 lakh people have been displaced from their homes.
Source: The News Minute