CHENNAI: Assuring that relief measures would continue on a war-footing until normalcy is restored in Kanniyakumari district, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday deputed top officials to visit the district to make a comprehensive assessment of the damage and loss inflicted by Ockhi and submit a report in seven days.
Top officials from the departments of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Environment and Forests, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, Municipal Administration and Water Supply, Revenue and Disaster Management, the chairman of TANGEDCO, the director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, the zonal chief engineer, PWD, the Additional Director General of Police (Enforcement) and the IG of Police-South Zone were directed to leave for Kanniyakumari on Monday itself expediting relief operations.
“The report on the damage and loss in the district must be submitted by December 11,” the CM ordered, following a review meeting he had with the top officials. He also directed the officials of Revenue and Disaster Management, Horticulture and Forest departments to work in coordination to hold a survey of the uprooted rubber, plantain and other trees.
Officials of the Agriculture and Horticulture department were instructed to work with the Revenue department to assess the crop damage immediately.
Similarly, the Fisheries department was asked to assess the damage caused to the Kolachel fishing harbour and provide succour to all owners of the fishing boats damaged in the cyclone attack as soon as assessment process was completed.
Giving reprieve to those who were hit by flash floods losing educational certificates, ration cards and land documents, the departments concerned were ordered to issue copies of such documents without delay.
Informing that 1,998 low-tension electric poles and 972 high-tension poles collapsed in the cyclone attack were replaced, Palaniswami said the authorities concerned were told to carry out repair works on damaged roads. National Highway roads to a stretch of 60 km, state highway roads to a length of 40 km and rural and municipal roads running to 100 km were damaged in the cyclone.
According to the CM, only 891 people out of a total of 2,391 people evacuated from flooded places are still staying in relief centres and they would be provided with all necessary amenities including food, water and health care as long as they stay.
Referring to the missing fishermen, he said that 220 fishermen out of 294 belonging to Kanniyakumari district had been rescued, so far.Apart from this, 2,384 fishermen out of 2,570 and 205 boats out of 284 from other places had been rescued so far. Search operations were on to rescue the rest of the fishermen and their boats, he said.
Solatium for kin
The CM on Monday announced an ex-gratia of ` 4 lakh each to the families of five persons including two fishermen who lost their lives during the cyclone Ockhi attack in Kanyakumari district