NEW DELHI

Jayalalithaa orders relief package to all flood-affected families in the State

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has announced that all flood-affected families will be eligible for relief , irrespective of the type of ration card they hold. Even those who have applied for ration cards but have not go it as yet, will not only have that process expedited, but will simultaneously get their relief package if otherwise eligible.

Ms. Jayalalithaa has also decided to constitute district and village level committees to oversee relief and restoration work in all affected areas. She made these announcements in a detailed statement issued here on Saturday, following a three-day visit to the flood-affected districts in the State.

She said: ``I am aware that in many villages and towns the people have lost their ration cards which were either washed away or destroyed in the floods. I have directed the District Collectors to disburse the relief assistance to all eligible families expeditiously with reference to the list of ration cardholders available with the Collectors. I have also directed the District Collectors to take steps to issue fresh ration cards free of cost to all such families which have lost their ration cards.

``There are also a few cases of persons who have applied for ration cards but where the field enquiry process has not been completed. In all such cases the field enquiry will be completed immediately for issue of ration cards to those eligible and simultaneously the flood relief assistance package will also be provided to those affected.

``I have also reviewed the position regarding the distribution of the relief package. Presently those holding rice ration cards alone are eligible for the assistance package. I have now decided that all ration card holders irrespective of the type of the card in the affected areas shall be eligible for the relief package.''

Ms. Jayalalithaa has ordered that immediate priority should be given to the restoration of drinking water supply. Mobile water supply will also be provided wherever necessary. She said mobile medical teams had been organised in every district to visit the affected villages. Preventive inoculation would be taken up. Public sanitation and hygiene would be given utmost priority with a major effort launched to clean the villages affected by floods. A detailed assessment of the crop damage would be undertaken by the Department of Agriculture. With the floods receding, it was now possible to estimate the extent of damage wrought by the recent floods. A suitable package to enable the farmers to undertake fresh planting was being evolved, and would be implemented as soon as the damage assistance was completed. Assistance for Cattle, Sheep and Goat lost would also be provided after detailed enumeration.

In order to oversee the relief and restoration work due to floods, District Level Committees and Village Level Committees would be constituted for all the 22 flood affected districts. Each District Committee will comprise of the District Collector, MPs representing the flood affected areas, MLAs representing the flood affected areas, District Panchayat Chairperson, District Panchayat Vice Chairperson, Panchayat Union Chairpersons of the affected areas, two NGOs representatives nominated by the District Collector, and District Level Officers of the affected areas.