Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday said he has deputed a ministerial delegation to immediately visit the rain-battered southern districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi, and expedite the process of relief and restoration work there. Sudden heavy rains have thrown life out of gear in the southern districts, inundating several areas and even causing the water level in the reservoirs to swell.
Chief Minister Palaniswami also ordered agriculture and revenue officials to assess the extent of crop loss that farmers have faced since the unprecedented torrential rains have destroyed paddy and other crops. "We have received excess rainfall of 108.7 mm against the normal rainfall of 10.2 mm in January. As a result, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Villupuram, Kallakurichi and Tiruvallur districts were affected," he said in a statement.
"I have asked Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar, Information Minister Kadambur C Raju and Adi Dravidar Minister V M Rajalakshmi to visit Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts and expedite the process of relief and restoration activities," he added.
Palaniswami said he has directed the Collectors of the respective districts to evacuate the people living in the low-level areas to safe places and provide them relief.
Assuring that all affected farmers would be compensated for their crop loss, Palaniswami said his government has sanctioned Rs 565.46 crore towards the compensation for crop loss of farmers due to Nivar and Burevi cyclones in 2020-end. Of the sum, about Rs 487 crore has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of the affected farmers and the process of disbursing the remaining amount is on.
Several water bodies, including dams and reservoirs, are in spate due to the heavy rains. Nearly 29,000 cusecs of water were released from the Papanasam and Manimuthar dams initially and the quantum was enhanced to 51,000 cusecs as the level in these two dams increased rapidly, a Public Works Department official said. The Tamirabharani river is in spate and several low-lying areas are flooded.