Even as the state deals with the aftermath of Cyclone Titli, which struck close to Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister Nara Lokesh and Srikakulam MP B Ram Mohan Naidu have appealed to people from across the world to donate to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to help rebuild the lives of those affected by the natural disaster.
Stating that Cyclone Titli struck on October 11 with high winds of up to 165 kmph, followed by flooding, heavy rain ranging from 10 to 43 cm and storm surges, Lokesh said that the state government was working full-time in restoring normalcy in the affected areas.
“Cyclone Titli unleashed a trail of destruction in 23 mandals, 1,114 villages, 2,517 habitations and six towns, unlike any previously witnessed by the people of Srikakulam district. Roads, crops, infrastructure, thousands of homes and basic amenities were ravaged after having to bear the brunt of the cyclone. Over 36,000 electricity poles have been uprooted, more than 2 lakh people have been rendered homeless and farmers have lost 2.5 lakh hectares of agricultural crops and 36,000 hectares of horticultural crops, leading to hear-rending scenes of people wailing that I have witnessed myself. Stationed here since October 12 as part of relief operations, I have met thousands of people hearing their grief and doing everything in my power to alleviate the pain and loss,” Lokesh said in a message.
“A state that has already been burdened by bifurcation and running on fiscal deficit has been dealt another hard blow by the cyclone, including losses to the tune of Rs 3,435 crore,” he added.
Lokesh also listed out the damage that each department of the state government incurred and also pointed out that homes worth Rs 220 crore were devastated in the cyclone.
“Srikakulam is a long way from regaining normalcy and we’re caring for it like a child. I humbly request you to express support to the people during these testing times by way of making contributions to the CM Relief Fund. You can also adopt devastated villages under the Smart Village Programme,” Lokesh said.
Srikakulam MP Ram Mohan Naidu also echoed Lokesh’s thoughts.
“I am writing this letter with a lot of pain and anguish. Over the last three days, I have witnessed the terrible suffering of my people in Srikakulam. Like most of you, we eagerly awaited Dussehra celebrations but were confronted instead with one of the most powerful cyclones in memory,” Naidu wrote.
Outlining that the district saw immense damage, including loss of 5 lakh acres of standing crops, coconut and cashew plantations, Naidu said that they were still waiting for an effective response from the Centre.
“The government has mobilised all resources on a war footing in trying to restore power, communication, roads, sanitation and medicine supplies. We are striving hard to ensure everyone has access to food, water and other basic necessities in the shortest time possible. The people of this district have always been resilient in facing deadly cyclones like Hudhud and Phalilin. Rest assured that we are doing our best to bring Srikakulam back to normalcy,” he wrote.
“But this is not enough. We need the civil society, NGOs, NRIs and anyone willing to do his or her bit for Srikakulam. We need volunteers, funds and resources to support government endeavors. Every little bit of your time and effort helps. We must not let a crisis bog us down. Together, we can build a better, more resilient and more sustainable Srikakulam,” he concluded.