CHENNAI: Within a couple of hours of receipt of memorandum on the losses caused by heavy rains in Tamil Nadu from Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi allocated Rs 939.63 crore for dealing with the situation arising from the floods. The PM’s office said that a Central team is also being deputed to Tamil Nadu to assess the damages and further action will be taken after the team submits its report.
The Chief Minister, in her letter to the Prime Minister, said as per the interim assessment, the State would require Rs 8,481 crore for immediate rescue, relief and permanent restoration of infrastructure and that the extent of damage could go up as north-east monsoon would last for many more weeks. She sought Rs 2,000 crore immediate assistance.
The memorandum was handed over at the PMO by S T K Jakkaiyan, Special Representative of Tamil Nadu government in Delhi.
“This assessment has been made as an immediate measure since Tamil Nadu government requires assistance from the Centre to meet the very high expenditure requirements that such a severe calamity has caused. The funds required are well beyond the resources available with the State, including the State Disaster Response Fund,” the CM said. She also recalled that despite all the efforts taken by her government, as the rainfall was heavy and sustained for several days, it had left a trail of destruction. “At Neyveli, it rained 437 mm on November 9. Similarly, Chennai had received the second heaviest monthly rainfall recorded in the past more than 100 years in just the first 20 days of November,” she said.
Jayalalithaa said 169 lives were lost during this North East monsoon since October 1, and there was widespread damage to property, including dwelling units and crops. Infrastructure, including roads and bridges, storm water drainage systems, water supply and sewerage systems and electricity supply systems had been battered in many areas.
To meet the immediate expenditure on relief and restoration operations, she had sanctioned a sum of Rs 500 crore. However, the assessment of damages and requirement of funds for immediate relief and restoration of infrastructure, which had been speedily carried out, indicated a much higher financial requirement.
She said extremely heavy rains lashed four northern coastal districts - Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai, Tiruvallur. More than four lakh people were shifted to relief camps and provided food and shelter. Rescue and relief operations were undertaken on a war footing. The tireless, immediate rescue and relief operations conducted against heavy odds were widely appreciated, the Chief Minister pointed out.
Jayalalithaa also thanked the Prime Minister for promptly dispatching the National Disaster Response Force, Army, Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard to help the affected people.
Based on the forecast received from the Indian Meteorological Department and the alerts received from the National Disaster Management Agency, adequate precautionary measures were taken, which minimised loss to life and property. The State level agencies and the administration in the affected districts were put on high alert, the Chief Minister added.