Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday announced a hike in the compensation paid to fishermen who lost their boats during Cyclone Gaja. The compensation paid to fishermen has been increased from Rs 85,000 to Rs 1,50,000.
Speaking in the Assembly, the Chief Minister was answering a question by DMK MLA Siva V Meyyanathan from Alangudi. He said that the hike was decided after numerous requests from MLAs, ministers and fishermen in the affected areas. The chief minister also expressed hope that the state would definitely get the funds it had sought from the Centre.
The chief minister also stated that 5.27 lakh houses were damaged, 221,485 cattle and birds perished and farm and horticultural crops in 122,063 hectare area were damaged. A total of 331,772 electric poles were felled while 655 transformers, 201 sub-stations and electric lines spread over thousands of kilometres were damaged. Apart from this, 5,662 boats of fishermen, 6,157 vessels and 10,648 fishing nets were damaged in the tragedy, the chief minister said.
Adding that 52 people died in the cyclone, the chief minister said that the number was reduced since the government, as a precaution, evacuated 81,948 people from low-lying areas and housed them in 417 relief camps.
The chief minister also said that TANGEDCO was yet to restore 78,000 electricity connections in the regions damaged by Cyclone Gaja. He explained that only one per cent of the areas in delta region have not been given power supply and that these were agricultural lands. It takes 3 to 4 furlongs to reach every site and it requires huge manpower and the installation of electric poles takes time due to the nature of soil, he said. He added that the farmers also stalled the installation process since they had crops in their fields.
With inputs from IANS