Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday announced a Rs 700 crore package to provide immediate succour to cyclone Thane ravaged areas as authorities stepped up relief work and efforts to bring back normalcy.

The amount is in addition to Rs 150 crore released for immediate relief work, including putting back in shape badly damaged infrastructure in the coastal district of Cuddalore, most devastated by the cyclone last week, which claimed 47 lives in the state and neighbouring Puducherry.

The Chief Minister said she would visit Cuddalore on Wednesday to get first hand information about the impact of the cyclone and provide the relief to the affected.

Cuddalore and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu were the worst affected areas along with Puducherry in the cyclone, as gale force winds of about 120 kmph left a trail of destruction.

Of the Rs 700 crore package, Rs 300 crore is for the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to restore power supply, Rs 166 crore for damaged crops, Rs 114 crore to repair damaged huts, Rs 50 crore to supply drinking water, Rs 20 crore to repair fishing boats and Rs 50 crore for miscellaneous expenditure.

The Chief Minister said her Government would also pay enhanced compensation of Rs 10,000 per hectare for damaged paddy fields, Rs 9,000 per hectare for jackfruit and cashewnut crops and Rs 7,500 per hectare for irrigated crops.

She said state owned Aavin is supplying 35,000 litres of milk in Cuddalore, where there is an acute shortage.

Ms. Jayalalithaa’s visit coincides with that of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi who will also be going to the severely affected areas with his partymen.

Earlier, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram visited the cyclone-hit areas in Kancheepuram, Puducherry and Cuddalore and assured people of all help from the Centre.

He said a Central team would visit the affected areas to make an on-the-spot assessment of the damage.

Observing that the Tamil Nadu Government has to submit a report to the Centre on the damage, he said it would provide all assistance, based on the state government’s report.

Mr. Chidambaram said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the immediate financial relief to the affected.

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