Tamil Nadu

Centre gives ₹1,146 crore more for cyclone relief

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. File   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

A high-level committee chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday approved an additional ₹1,146.12 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for carrying out relief and restoration work in the delta districts ravaged by Cyclone Gaja.

The committee is comprised of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh and NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar.

Talking to The Hindu, Commissioner of Revenue Administration K. Satyagopal said the ₹1,146.12 crore was in addition to the ₹550 crore available with the State Disaster Response Fund.

When asked about the State government’s request for the sanctioning of ₹14,910 crore towards permanent restoration work, Mr. Satyagopal said the NDRF funds were meant only for temporary relief, and funds for permanent restoration work could come only from the different Ministries under the Central government.

“We cannot compare the funds we had sought for permanent restoration with the funds received for temporary restoration from the NDRF,” he said.

The Tamil Nadu government had sought ₹2,709 crore for temporary relief. With the sanctioning of ₹1,146 crore on Monday, a sum of ₹1,696.12 crore is available with the State for disaster relief.

In the wake of the severe damage caused by the cyclone, primarily in the Cauvery delta districts, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and sought an interim relief of ₹1,431 crore towards temporary relief and restoration work and ₹14,910 crore for permanent restoration activities.

An inter-ministerial team visited cyclone-hit areas and submitted its report to the Centre. Cyclone Gaja made landfall on November 16 last year and claimed 52 lives.

On December 3, the Centre released ₹353.70 crore as interim relief.

Not enough: PMK

The PMK criticised the Centre for approving merely ₹1,146 crore in relief assistance, and urged it to sanction the ₹15,000 crore sought by the Tamil Nadu goverment towards permanent restoration work.

In a statement, PMK leader and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss claimed that the damage incurred by the State due to Cyclone Gaja was actually to the tune of ₹25,000 crore, but the State government had sought only ₹15,000 crore.

“While so, the Centre has approved only ₹1,146 crore, which is not acceptable,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 6:08:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-gives-1146-crore-more-for-cyclone-relief/article25875501.ece

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