CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday sought Rs.8,481 crore as Central assistance towards immediate rescue and relief and the temporary and permanent restoration of infrastructure urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend Rs.2,000 crore assistance immediately. She also requested the Prime Minister to depute a Central team immediately to make its on-the-spot assessment of damages and to release financial assistance without any delay.
Sending the detailed memorandum on the damages caused by North East Monsoon since October 1, the Chief Minister, in her letter to the Prime Minister, said “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 Chief Minister explained that despite all the efforts taken by the Tamil Nadu government, as the rainfall was extremely heavy and sustained for several days,it had left a trail of damage and destruction. “To cite an example, at Neyveli, it rained 437 mm on November 9, 2015. 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 added.
She said 169 lives were lost during this NE 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.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that the extent of damage was still unfolding and as many weeks left in the NE monsoon period, during which more weather systems were expected to develop which could cause further damage. The memorandum was prepared to get financial assistance which was immediately required could be expeditiously secured from the Centre.