The Union government has approved the release of Rs 1,146 crore to Tamilnadu for the people affected by Cyclone Gaja, which had claimed 46 lives and left a trail of destruction in over 10 districts in the State. The approval for financial assistance was given at a high level committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. According to a statement from the Home Ministry, the committee approved the additional assistance of Rs 1,146.12 crore to Tamilnadu from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Earlier, on 3 December, the Centre had released Rs 353.70 crore as an interim relief to support the affected people of Tamilnadu.
If sources are to be believed, the Tamilnadu government feels that the fund sanctioned by the Central government was too little, compared to the damage caused by the cyclone. Also, the financial assistance has come a little late, it is felt. Last month, the Tamilnadu government had sought about Rs 14,910 crore as Central assistance towards relief and rehabilitation activities in Cyclone Gaja-affected districts in the State.
According to the abstract of memorandum submitted to the Central government, the Tamilnadu government had sought a total sum of Rs 14,910 crore towards permanent renovation activities in various areas, including the power sector which has been badly hit.
Cyclone Gaja had crossed the Tamilnadu coast early 16 November between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam. It had claimed 46 lives and left a trail of destruction in over 10 districts including Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Pudukottai and Thanjavur. Over one lakh electric poles had been uprooted and a significant number of power sub-stations damaged, with reports suggesting that many parts are still without electricity. Hence, the Central and the State governments should jointly work to restore normalcy in the affected areas at the earliest.