Over two weeks after Cyclone Gaja wreaked havoc in the delta districts of Tamil Nadu, the Centre has approved the release of Rs 353.7 crore for the State Disaster Relief Fund. According to a report in the Times of India, the Union Home Ministry had termed this an interim relief. “Further assistance will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund based on the final report of the inter-ministerial Central team,” a press release from the Ministry said.
Almost a week after Cyclone Gaja ravaged the coastal and the Cauvery delta districts in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought Rs 15,000 crore from the central government towards permanent rehabilitation of the affected districts. The state government had also requested the Centre to disburse Rs 1,500 crore towards temporary rehabilitation.
A six-member inter-ministerial central team had also been constituted and tasked with visiting cyclone-affected areas to assess the damage that had been caused to life and property following the cyclone.
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 down.
The Tamil Nadu government had earlier revealed that donors across the state had contributed over Rs 13 crores to the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.
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.