Narendra Modi meets victims of Cyclone Ockhi in Tamil Nadu; Palaniswamy seeks relief package of Rs 9,300 crore

Kanyakumari: Tamil Nadu on Tuesday sought a central relief package of Rs 9,300 crore for rehabilitation efforts in the state, which faced the monsoon fury, including this coastal town that was battered by Cyclone Ockhi.

Chief Minister K Palaniswamy presented a memorandum for Rs 9,302 crore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited this district to take stock of the situation post-Cyclone Ockhi.

Palaniswamy said Tamil Nadu wanted the Centre to declare Ockhi as a "national disaster" on account of the "severity" of the cyclone.

He said his government sought Rs 5,255 crore assistance towards implementing permanent rehabilitation measures in Kanyakumari and another Rs 4,047 crore to cater to other parts of the state, including capital Chennai, affected by the northeast monsoon.

Permanent measures would be taken to prevent recurrence of damage due to floods in Chennai and other coastal districts, Palaniswamy said, without elaborating.

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

The coastal districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallore, Cuddalore, Tuticorin, and Nagapattinam suffered the brunt of northeast monsoon in October-November, with incessant rains resulting in inundation and flooding.

The prime minister was also apprised of local fishermen's long-time demand for a special Air Force station with helipad facilities, Palaniswamy told reporters.

They also demanded an integrated fishing harbour with communication facilities and cold storage, he said.

"The prime minister said he will consider the demands," Palaniswamy said.

Meanwhile, the state government, quoting the chief minister's memorandum to Modi, said Tamil Nadu has sought an immediate release of Rs 747 crore towards rehabilitation efforts in Kanyakumari.

It also sought for a hike in disaster relief assistance provided by the central government in various areas, including towards loss of lives.

Tamil Nadu also demanded assistance in the areas of power and communication network, among others.

The state sought provision of 1,500 high-frequency wireless sets with 90 percent central assistance, besides setting up of control rooms in coastal areas.

"A dedicated satellite radio channel should be set up to issue regular weather updates for fishermen in Tamil," a government release said quoting the memorandum.

On the search and rescue of missing fishermen, Palaniswamy said the Centre and state government were carrying out this on a 'war-footing' and assured to rescue the last of the fishermen.

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2017 19:56:38 IST

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