KANYAKUMARI: Tamil Nadu today sought a central relief package of Rs 9,300 crore for rehabilitation efforts in the state, which faced the monsoon fury, including this coastal town that was battered by cyclone Ockhi.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami presented a memorandum for Rs 9,302 crore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited this district to take stock of the situation post Ockhi.
Palaniswami said Tamil Nadu wanted the Centre to declare Ockhi as a "national disaster" on account of the "severity" of the cyclone.
He said his government sought Rs 5,255 crore assistance towards implementing permanent rehabilitation measures in Kanyakumari and another Rs 4,047 crore to cater to other parts of the state, including capital Chennai, affected by the north east monsoon.
Permanent measures would be taken to prevent recurrence of damage due to floods in Chennai and other coastal districts, Palaniswami said, without elaborating.
The coastal districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallore, Cuddalore, Tuticorin and Nagapattinam suffered the brunt of north east monsoon in October-November, with incessant rains resulting in inundation and flooding.
The prime minister was also apprised of local fishermen's long-time demand for a special Air Force station with helipad facilities, Palaniswami told reporters.
They also demanded an integrated fishing harbour with communication facilities and cold storage, he said.
"The prime minister said he will consider the demands," Palaniswami said.
Meanwhile, the state government, quoting the chief minister's memorandum to Modi, said Tamil Nadu has sought an immediate release of Rs 747 crore towards rehabilitation efforts in Kanyakumari.
It also sought for a hike in disaster relief assistance provided by the central government in various areas, including towards loss of lives.
Tamil Nadu also demanded assistance in the areas of power and communication network, among others.
The state sought provision of 1,500 high frequency wireless sets with 90 per cent central assistance, besides setting up of control rooms in coastal areas.
"A dedicated satellite radio channel should be set up to issue regular weather updates for fishermen in Tamil," a government release said quoting the memorandum.
On the search and rescue of missing fishermen, Palaniswami said the Centre and state government were carrying out this on a 'war-footing' and assured to rescue the last of the fishermen.