KANYAKUMARI: Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan today said all steps were being taken to trace and rescue missing fishermen in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi.
A "false image" is being created against the central and state governments though they were taking up rescue, relief and rehabilitation works, Radhakrishnan told reporters here.
The radius of the search operations were extended from 50 nautical miles to 150 nautical miles due to the centre's efforts, he said.
Officials who knew Tamil were being deputed to other states to bring back more than 2000 fishermen who had strayed there.
Referring to protests demanding steps to trace the missing fishermen, the union minister said it is an expression of the fisherfolk's anguish and sorrow.
Politics should not intervene in such agitations.
Instead, politicians should work jointly and "not take advantage of a sorrowful situation," he said.
The union minister urged the Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami to make a direct assessment of the impact of the cyclone.
Fisherfolk who had lost their houses, boats, fishing equipment, among other things, should be suitably compensated.
"The injured should be given Rs.one lakh," he said.
Fishermen who had strayed to the Gujarat coast would be brought to Tamil Nadu, he said, adding, they were being provided materials like food and bed-sheets.
On the state governor Banwarilal Purohit visiting the cyclone-hit areas in the district, he said "There is nothing wrong in that. In fact his tour programme had been fixed long before the cyclone." The governor visited the affected areas on humanitarian grounds and it should not be politicised, he said.
Purohit holding discussions with top district officials in Coimbatore a few weeks ago has drawn flak from DMK and others, who claimed that it amounted to an interference in the state's rights.
On Wednesday, he held discussions with officials in Tirunelveli district.