Edappadi visits affected places in Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday announced that over one lakh houses will be built as part of a scheme to rehabilitate those who had lost their huts during Cyclone Gaja.
A senior IAS official would be appointed the Special Secretary for implementing the scheme, the Chief Minister said after visiting various parts of Nagapattinam district that bore the brunt of the cyclone.
A total of 77,896 huts had been fully damaged and 22,274 partially damaged. Also, 11,112 pucca houses had been damaged by the cyclone, he said.
Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Ministers and senior IAS officials, the Chief Minister took the time to interact with those affected and receive petitions from them at Vizhundamavadi, Vettaikaraniruppu, Kavilpathu, Vellapallam, Pushpavanam and a few other places.
The government will help the poor generate income by deploying them for restoration work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Those who had lost their houses were being given a package of 27 items, including clothes, food items, blankets, umbrella, soap, mat, candle, match box, milk powder, cooking oil, etc. as immediate relief. The relief materials would be distributed to all affected people within five days, Mr. Palaniswami said.
The government had allocated ₹1,300 crore towards immediate relief. The process of crediting the compensation for damaged houses into the accounts of those affected had already begun, he said, expressing hope that the Centre would sanction the amount sought by the State for cyclone relief in time.
Providing statistics on the damage incurred by Nagapattinam district, the CM told mediapersons that the government intended to implement elaborate measures to revive agriculture, horticulture and fishing. Over 1.38 lakh of the 2,32,308 uprooted trees had been cleared. Horticulture crops, including 3,886 hectares (ha) of coconut, 2,491 ha of mango and 1,020 ha of cashew plantations had been completely damaged.
Mr. Palaniswami said the digging of 3,000 borewells would be prioritised to meet drinking water requirements.
As many as 7,291 employees of the Highways, Public Works, Rural Development, Local Administration, Health, Agriculture and Horticulture departments from other districts were assisting their counterparts in Nagapattinam district to carry out restoration work on a war footing, he said.
The Chief Minister said the government would come to the aid of coastal villages in clearing the slush brought about by high velocity winds during the cyclone.
As many as 16,304 of the 30,870 uprooted utility poles had been replaced so far. Likewise, 341 of 592 transformers had been set right. Of the 5,893 workers engaged in restoring electricity supply, 5,141 were from other States, he said.
Besides Nagapattinam, the CM also visited affected areas in Tiruvarur district. Security arrangements were elaborate, and there were no reports of protests.
Kerala pitches in
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced ₹10 crore as aid for cyclone-affected districts in Tamil Nadu.
“Kerala stands with Tamil Nadu,” he said in a social media post.