NAGERCOIL: Reiterating that the compensation amount for fishermen killed in cyclone Ockhi had been raised to `20 lakh, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, on a visit to the coastal district on Tuesday, said that a 300-foot-high communication tower would be set up to keep a tab on the seafarers. He was addressing a gathering of fishermen families at St Jude’s College in Thoothur.
Addressing the gathering, the chief minister said, “Government machinery swung into action during the cyclone and in its aftermath. Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar reached Kanniyakumari to oversee the relief measures and contacted the Prime Minister seeking helicopter and ships for rescuing fishermen. As many as 18 ships, helicopters and aircraft were roped in for the search operations.”
Regarding the bishops and church priests, who requested for a helipad in the district to expedite relief works during exigencies, the chief minister said, “While the priests placed a request for a helipad, we have already placed a similar one from the Central government. For those who lost their houses, steps would be taken to construct houses under the Green House Scheme. We have also decided to give `2,500 the 31,000-odd fishermen, who could not venture into the sea due to cyclone. Moreover, an additional `2,500 would be given to them. On rescue efforts front, we shall continue the operations until the last missing fisherman is found.”
“A team is overseeing the disbursal of relief funds to the families of affected fishermen. Action would be taken to reduce the time frame to compensate the kin of missing fishermen. Relief funds for farmers would be provided as per the announcement, and every farmer shall receive it,” he added. To connect with fishermen venturing into deep sea, a 300-foot-high communication tower at an outlay of `65 crore sanctioned by the World Bank would be constructed. The chief minister met the families of missing fishermen from eight villages.