59 committees to oversee flood relief

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE : Fiftynine union-level coordination committees have been constituted in the district to oversee the relief measures.The number of committees in each block is as follows: Keerapalayam - 11, Kattumannarkoil and Kumaratchi - 10 each, Parangipettai and Bhuvanagiri - eight each, Khammapuram - five, Kurinjipadi - three, and, Cuddalore and Chidambaram - two each.

Each committee, consisting of a Tahsildar or a Block Development Officer, and Revenue officials will take care of five villages. The members will visit the villages to ensure adequate supply of food and water, restoration of electricity connections, keep a tab on health veterinary camps and oversee road restoration.

The committees will meet at the office of the Chidambaram Sub-Collector daily at 6.30 p.m. to apprise the Collector of the measures taken. Collector Gagandeep Singh Bedi told presspersons that 80 medical teams, comprising 300 personnel, had been formed to attend to the healthcare of the affected people.

The medical personnel are making door-to-door visits at places such as Khammiampettai, Sellankuppam, Cuddalore Old Town, Cuddalore bus stand and Vanniyarpalayam. Arrangements have also been made to spray bleaching powder in the affected places, including Thevanampattinam.

Veterinarians from Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts have come down here to assist their counterparts. They have started attending on livestock in places such as Uppalavadi, Gnanamedu, Kuchimedu, and Vriddhachalam.

Mr. Bedi said the two-kilometre breach of the Cuddalore— Kumbakonam Road, near Vadalur, had been set right and the traffic restored on the Chennai— Kumbakonam route in the evening.

Similarly, the breach at Sarvarajanpettai was rectified and traffic between Kumaratchi and Kattumannarkoil restored today.

The Collector said the Vellar had changed course and eroded the landmass to about 300 metres at Karuveppilakurichi in Vriddhachalam block. Boats had been pressed into service there. People in 420 villages were hit and 238 villages were still under water. So far, 50 lakhs food-packets had been served in 103 relief centres. As many as 1.5 lakh huts were fully damaged and 50,000 huts were partly damaged.

The death toll due to floods had risen to 36, and extent of crops on 75,000— 80,000 hectares might be affected. The enumeration of the beneficiaries would be done based on the ration cards, Mr. Bedi said.