CHENNAI, Dec 9: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday announced a cyclone relief package comprising Rs 6,000 cash assistance and increased payout under other categories including enhanced compensation for flood-hit crops.
The cash assistance to people, whose livelihoods were affected by the cyclone, would be paid in cash at the ration shops (Public Distribution System outlets) in their respective residential neighbourhoods.
On December 3 and 4, under the influence of Cyclone ‘Michaung,’ Chennai and nearby areas in Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts received heavy to very heavy rainfall leading to heavy inundation and damage to properties and loss of lives.
The Chief Minister’s announcement followed a hi-level meeting chaired by him at the Secretariat that reviewed damage due to floods and the relief to be provided to the affected people.
A government press release said Stalin has ordered increasing the compensation for rain-hit crops (33 per cent and above) including paddy from Rs 13,500 per hectare to Rs 17,000.
If perennial crops and trees had been affected, the compensation per hectare would be hiked to Rs 22,500 per hectare from Rs 18,000. For rain-fed crops, the compensation would be increased to Rs 8,500 from Rs 7,410 per hectare.
The solatium to the kin of those who lost their lives in rain related incidents due to the cyclone would be increased to Rs five lakh from Rs four lakh.
As regards damage to boats and fishing nets, the government outlined category-wise assistance, like those for partial and full damage.
It includes enhancement of maximum subsidy to 7.50 lakh, from Rs five lakh, for fully damaged mechanised boats.
For loss of lives of cattle including cows and bull, the compensation would be increased to Rs 37,500 from Rs 30,000.
For goat breeds like ‘Velladu’ and ‘Semmariadu’, the compenstion would be hiked to Rs 4,000 from Rs 3,000.
The assistance to damaged huts shall be now Rs 8,000 from Rs 5,000.
The government said 47 lakh food packets were distributed in Chennai district alone till December 8, from the start of the rains due to the cyclone.
In total, in Chennai, Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, 51 lakh food packets were provided to people. Over 58,000 kg of milk powder and nearly 10 lakh drinking water bottles were distributed besides bread and biscuit packets.
Ministers and top officials took part in the meeting chaired by the Chief Minister.
Under the influence of the cyclone, Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengelpet districts received a total of 109.41 cm rainfall (December 3 and 4)..
Poonamallee (in Tiruvallur district, a Chennai suburb) received 32 cm and Perungudi (Chennai) received 29 cm.
The DMK regime faced flak from main opposition AIADMK and the BJP over its handling of the situation due to the rains and floods. Also, people from a cross-section of society expressed their anguish and disappointment in the social media.
Local people surrounded Chennai Mayor R Priya and posed a volley of questions over several issues. The ruling party had maintained that there would be no water-logging in view of proper implementation of storm water drain works.
However, there was heavy inundation and access to localities such as Pallikaranai was cut off; marooning people and houses came under sheets of water in various areas.
Vehicles including cars, two-wheelers and commerical vehicles were submerged. Thirteen insurance firms have said that so far, a total of 2,320 claims have been received for vehicles, which includes motorcycles, cars and commercial vehicles.
There was no milk supply for two days at the least and the city and neighbourhoods witnessed a short supply of drinking water cans as well.
The Chief Minister’s announcement of cyclone relief comes against this background. He had said on Friday that only due to the completion of storm water drain work ahead of the monsoon season, a massive catastrophe was averted despite unprecedented rains due to the cyclone. The state government has sought an interim central relief of Rs 5,060 crore and the Centre has cleared two instalments of Rs 450 crore each to Tamil Nadu. (PTI)