The Central team that has been entrusted with the task of visiting the cyclone-affected regions in Tamil Nadu said that the situation in delta districts was grim. According to a news report in The Hindu, the six-member team started the second day of their tour from Orathanadu Pudur in Thanjavur district.
Orathanadu is one of the places worst-hit by cyclone Gaja. The team accompanied by Principal Secretary K Satyagopal, Thanjavur collector A Annadurai and other senior officials from the state government found thousands of coconut trees and electric poles uprooted and substations and houses destroyed in the cyclone.
One of the team members also told The Hindu that the team has got first-hand accounts of the destruction from the farmers and that the damage caused by the cyclone is beyond their imagination. The team also received memorandums from the affected farmers in some areas that they visited.
The central team is in the state after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested the Centre for relief funds. The state government requested the centre to disburse Rs 1,500 crore towards temporary rehabilitation and Rs 15,000 crore towards permanent rehabilitation of affected areas. ]
Apart from this amount, the state government had also allocated Rs 1,000 crore towards immediate relief in the cyclone-affected areas in the state. A major share of the allocated and demanded amount will go towards rebuilding the electrical infrastructure in the affected areas since the gale winds had blown electric poles and wires away.
Cyclone Gaja made landfall near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district in the wee hours of November 16. After the landfall, it moved to interior Tamil Nadu where it caused extensive damage to crops and property and cut of the electrical, telecommunication and road connectivity to the districts. The official death toll due to the cyclone stands at 63 and more than 3 lakh people have been displaced from their homes.