The government has decided to provide Rs. 2,000 for all ration card-holders as a relief for the hardship caused by the cyclonic storm, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy said here on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the money would be distributed in a day or two to all card-holders in the Puducherry region. Apart from the relief amount, all registered fishermen would get an additional sum of Rs. 1,800, he said.Damage owing to the cyclone was huge, he said, adding that initial estimates put the loss between Rs. 1,500 crore and Rs. 2,000 crore. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during a telephonic conversation with him, promised to provide all assistance and depute a Central team shortly, Mr. Rangasamy said.

All government agencies are working full-time to restore normality, he said adding that steps would be taken to rebuild the Bharathi Park and Botanical Garden, which have been completely damaged.

Chidambaram visit

Home Minister P. Chidambaram would arrive here on Sunday morning to have a first-hand assessment of the situation.

He is likely to tour the affected areas.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Rangasamy inspected several affected areas along with officials.