A unit of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which visited the erosion-ravaged coast of Valiathura on Tuesday, is expected to press for the inclusion of sea erosion and tidal wave attacks in the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) list of disasters for which the Centre’s financial assistance is available.
The NDRF unit, led by Commandant M.K. Verma, visited the relief camp at the Valiathura Government Upper Primary School along with Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor. They also visited different spots of the coast which were standing proof for the severity of sea erosion and tidal wave attacks that have been giving sleepless nights to the coastal residents over the last two weeks.
Commandant Verma, talking to presspersons later, said his team would study the issue in detail and submit a report to the NDMA shortly, pointing out that sea erosions had to be included in the list of disasters so that people here could get financial assistance from the Centre, including for rehabilitation.
Mr. Tharoor, who interacted with people at the relief camp and listened to their woes for nearly an hour, said the State government was doing whatever it could do, but there were not enough funds as was evident from the state of affairs at the camp, where he saw people being forced to lie on the bare floor.
The NDRF, he said, had been called in so that the NDMA could get a clear picture of the ground reality and the necessity of including sea erosion and tidal wave attacks in the list of disasters considered eligible for Central assistance. A request to this effect had already been made by him to the State and Central governments. The State government had already taken up the issue in its own capacity with the Centre.
The NDRF unit, which arrived here from Arakkonam on Monday, would focus on the assessment of the present situation, suggestion of relief measures, and a list of possible measures for long-term disaster mitigation, he said.