HC notice to Centre, TN govt on Gaja devastation and relief

Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered notice to the Centre and Tamilnadu government to reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought a detailed survey of the devastation caused by severe cyclonic storm Gaja and rightful compensation.

The case was filed by Vellaichamy, who wanted the government to do a thorough study of the damage caused by Gaja in the most affected districts of Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai.

According to the PIL, 83 villages in Thanjavur, 43, in Pudukottai, 87, in Nagapattinam, have been severely affected. He went on to say that Gaja flattened nearly 2 lakh coconut trees in these villages and the government had announced Rs 2.64 lakh as compensation per hectare of agricultural land that was hit by the cyclone.

Vellaichamy’s contention is that the compensation amount was not sufficient. He prayed that relief be provided to the interior villages suffering from the effects of Gaja.

Hearing the PIL, the court ordered notice to the Centre and State governments to reply by 29 November. It adjourned the case to that date and said it would be clubbed with the one filed by advocate Rajinikanth on a similar plea.

NT Bureau