Over a week after Cyclone Gaja struck Tamil Nadu and left a trail of destruction in its wake, the Tamil Nadu government has revealed that donors across the state have contributed over Rs 13 crores to the Chief Ministerâ€™s Public Relief Fund.
In a statement to the press on Saturday, the Chief Ministerâ€™s Office disclosed that Venu Srinivasan of TVS Motors donated Rs 2 crores; Lyca Group donated Rs 1.1 crore; the main opposition party, the DMK donated Rs 1 crore; The Legend Saravana Stores, Ramco Group, City Union Bank and Sakthi Masala Group donated Rs 1 crore each; South Indian Sugar Mills Association donated Rs 1 crore; GRT group donated Rs 50 lakhs; Nanguneri MLA and Vasanth and Co. chief S Vasanthakumar donated Rs 25 lakhs; Founder of Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute AC Shanmugam donated Rs 20 lakhs; Actor Ajith donated Rs 15 lakhs; AIADMK MLA VV Rajan donated Rs 10 lakhs; Thol Thiruma of VCK donated Rs 10 lakhs and Actor Vivekh donated Rs 5 lakhs.
The press release further stated that they received direct and online donations from several people, which brought the total to Rs 13,32,67,288.
The severe cyclonic storm Gaja which made a landfall on November 16, with winds blowing at 120 km per hour has wreaked havoc in the coastal and delta districts of Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudhukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Karur and Trichy.
The cyclonic storm has left several homeless, the storm also has damaged lakhs of acres of coconut crops, banana crops, and affected the livestock, pushing farmers into crisis.
The delta region is still reeling under the crisis as the government is restoring power, after thousands of electric poles were uprooted. After assessing the level of damage, the Tamil Nadu government has sought a relief package of Rs 15,000 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund towards rehabilitation.
According to the memorandum presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, out of Rs 15,000 crore, Rs 7,077 crore is towards Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation for restoring electricity and Rs 6,000 crore is towards providing homes for the victims.