Assuring all assistance to the cyclone affected, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said a Central team would visit Puducherry and Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district soon to make an on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused by the calamity which left 47 dead.
The team would be deputed to visit the storm-ravaged areas of Puducherry either on Wednesday or Thursday, Mr. Chidambaram told reporters at Moorthikuppam coastal village before wrapping up his two-and-a-half hour visit to the Union Territory where the cyclone claimed seven lives.
Mr. Chidambaram said as per information provided to him by Puducherry government around 17,012 hectares of paddy fields and also coconuts, bananas, casuarinas and sugarcane had been damaged besides 80,000 huts and 124 power transformers.
New structures were being erected and power supply had been restored in a phased manner. All that was needed was that the people should remain calm as the official machinery was putting in good work, he said.
At Abishegapakkam some villagers told Mr. Chidambaram, who was accompanied by Union Minister V.Narayanasamy, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy and his ministerial colleagues, that food packets were not being supplied and power supply not restored.
The quantum of relief would be finalised after holding talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Mr. Chidambaram said before leaving for Cuddalore.
At Cuddalore, which bore the brunt of the storm accounting for 31 of the 40 lives lost in Tamil Nadu, Chidambaram visited the villages of K Kuppam, Uchimedu, Kondur and Manjakuppam.
Villagers complained that there no power supply, milk and drinking water for the last five days.
He said a central team would visit the region soon and assistance provided according to its report. Those who lost their dwellings would be provided housing under central government scheme, Chidambaram said.
Meanwhile, officials said State Rural Industries minister M.C. Sampath, who had been camping in Cuddalore for the past few days supervising relief works, cancelled all his programmes and left for Chennai early on Tuesday.