CHENNAI: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately release Rs 1,200 crore as part of the Central government assistance to the people affected by cyclones, Nivar and Burevi, and the unseasonal rains in Tamil Nadu.
Palaniswami pointed out that the cyclones and the rains have aggravated the financial stress, and also submitted a memorandum detailing the demands of the State.Palaniswami requested the Prime Minister to consider the release of Central financial assistance immediately which would not only provide the much-needed relief to the affected people of TN, but also help reduce the financial burden as the State had already started disbursing input assistance in anticipation of release from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
Citing extensive damage to the ready-for-harvest Samba crops, the State had already sought Rs 3,570.38 crore towards relief assistance for cyclone Nivar, and an additional Rs 1,514 crore towards assistance for cyclone Burevi. Pending the release of assistance from the Centre, the State government already sanctioned Rs 672.05 crore towards relief. The State also received 136.6 mm of rainfall in the month of January, which is 1,011 per cent higher than the normal average of 12.3 mm.
As per the initial assessment, crops in an extent of 4.5 lakh hectares have been inundated and damaged during these unprecedented rains. The input assistance under the NDRF guidelines would amount to Rs 472 crore. As on January 13, Rs 2,615 crore was sanctioned under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) towards preparedness and relief measures, institutional quarantine facilities, Covid Care Centres, relief assistance for people affected by cyclones, etc., and hence at present, there is a deficit of Rs 1,255 crore under the SDRF.
Other Key demands
- Finalise the Detailed Project Report for Godavari-Cauvery linkage project and take up the work on priority basis so that southern States can be benefitted from the inter-basin transfer of flood water.
- Sanction Cauvery-Gundar linkage project as a national project on priority basis and provide financial assistance, in view of its greater impact on vast drought-prone areas in TN.
- Nadanthai Vazhi Cauvery programme to restore the river Cauvery and its main tributaries; Consider it a special project like ‘Namami Gange’ and accord sanction and extend financial assistance of Rs 713.39 crore, at the earliest.
- Early approval of phase-II of Metro Rail Project under the 50:50 equity model.
- Operate an evening/night return flight from Chennai to Salem.
- Introduce direct flight services between Coimbatore and Dubai.
- Early sanction of Rs 1,000 crore for Bulk Drug Park under Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks Scheme and Rs 100 crore for Medical Devices Park in Tiruvallur district.
- Sanction at least two Mega Textile Parks for TN.
- Consider revision of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for milling copra from Rs 99.60 to at least Rs 150 per kg for the current 2021 copra season, to safeguard the interests of coconut growers.
- Urgently take up the matter of releasing 12 Indian fishermen and all mechanised fishing boats currently in Sri Lankan custody, with the highest authorities in there.
- Expedite proposals for development of Vellapallam fishing harbour in Nagapattinam and fish landing centres in 18 small fishing harbours in TN.
- Expedite setting up of the defence industrial corridor in TN.