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Tamil Nadu seeks Rs 15,000 crore from Centre to rebuild after cyclone Gaja

According to estimates of the Tamil Nadu government, 86,702 electric poles, 841 transformers and 201 electric sub-stations are damaged. Photo: PTI

Thanjavur: Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday sought from the Centre Rs 15,000 crore, Rs 1,500 crore of which as immediate release, for restoration works in districts affected by cyclone Gaja.

After meeting prime minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday, Palaniswami said the death toll on account of last week’s cyclone had risen to 63. He sought Rs 14, 910 crore for permanent restoration and mitigation works in the cyclone-hit areas of the state.

The amount includes Rs 7,077 crore for Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), Rs 6,000 crore as relief for housing damages, Rs 625 crore for agriculture and horticulture losses, Rs 100 crore for the fisheries department and Rs 378 crore towards restoration of roads.

According to estimates of the Tamil Nadu government, 86,702 electric poles, 841 transformers and 201 electric sub-stations are damaged.

Hundreds of employees of TANGEDCO have been working to restore electricity supply in the districts of Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai.

The chief minister has also requested that a central government team be sent to inspect the cyclone-hit districts.

The cyclonic storm Gaja hit the coast of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on the early morning of 16 November. As it made a landfall in Nagapattinam district and moved inland, the storm caused havoc across the Cauvery delta. More than 251,600 people were evacuated and moved to over 500 relief camps.

The Cauvery delta region, the granary of Tamil Nadu, has lost over 170,454 trees. Around 88,102 hectares of agricultural and horticultural crops have been damaged and 4,800 fishing boats damaged, according to the state government’s initial estimates.

The Tamil Nadu government has released Rs 1,000 crore for relief operations. Of this Rs 350 crore has been allocated for agricultural losses, Rs 205.87 crore for loss of life and personal belongings, Rs. 100 crore to rebuild houses, Rs 25 crore for restoration of roads and Rs 102.5 crore for other infrastructure. While Rs 200 crore has been allocated for the state electricity department, Rs 41.63 has been granted to the fisheries department as initial relief.

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