State puts Rs 8,481 crore figure as cost of damage due to north east monsoon
GN Bureau | November 23, 2015
Tamil Nadu government has pegged destruction caused by north east monsoon at Rs 8,481 crore and chief minister J Jayalalithaa has urged prime minister Narendra Modi to immediately release Rs 2,000 crore for relief work.
In a letter to the prime minister, she said that 169 lives have been lost in various rain-related incidents since October 1, 2015. Infrastructure, including roads and bridges, storm water drainage systems, water supply and sewerage systems and electricity supply systems have been 'battered' in many areas. More than four lakh people have been shifted to relief camps.
Meanwhile, Modi has instructed release of financial aid of Rs 939.63 crore to the state for flood-relief work.
Jayalalithaa’s letter says that despite her government's preventive efforts, the state had suffered severe damage on account of the "extremely heavy and sustained" rainfall which, she said, had left a trail of destruction and that her government had allocated Rs 500 crore for relief work.
"The requirement of funds for immediate rescue and relief and the temporary and permanent restoration of infrastructure has been worked out at Rs.8,481 crore in all...." "This assessment has been made as an immediate measure since the Government of Tamil Nadu requires assistance from Government of India to meet the very high expenditure requirements that such a severe calamity has caused. The funds required are well beyond the resources available with the state, including the State Disaster Response Fund," she said.
She requested Modi to depute a central team immediately to make its on-the-spot assessment of damage and to release central financial aid without any delay keeping in view the urgency of restoring many of the infrastructure facilities and services to the flood affected people.
"In the meanwhile, I request that an on account release of Rs 2,000 crore may be sanctioned immediately to enable the state government to sustain the relief and restoration operations with the same vigour," Jayalalithaa said.
Jayalalithaa recalled that a deep depression of 'high intensity' in the Bay of Bengal had hit the Tamil Nadu coast near Marakkanam on November 10, 2015, causing extremely heavy rains, particularly in the four northern coastal districts of Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai and Tiruvallur.
"Based on the forecast received from Indian Meteorological Department and the alerts received from the National Disaster Management Agency, adequate precautionary measures were taken which minimised loss to life and property," she said, adding state-level agencies and the local administration in the affected districts were put on high alert.
High level teams of ministers and senior IAS officers were deputed to various districts to monitor the preventive, rescue and relief operations while personnel of different departments, including revenue, police, fire service and public works department were fully mobilised, the CM said.
"In addition, the services of the National Disaster Response Force, Army, Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard were requisitioned wherever the need was felt. I thank you for the promptness in the dispatch of these forces," she told Modi.
However, despite all efforts taken by the state Government, "as the rainfall was extremely heavy and sustained for several days, it has left a trail of damage and destruction," she said.
Citing an example, she said at Neyveli (Cuddalore dt.), it rained 437 MM on Nov 9. Similarly, Chennai received the second heaviest monthly rainfall recorded in the past more than 100 years in just the first 20 days of November. The rainfall continued for several days as the deep depression was followed by another low pressure system, she said.
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