Central team to arrive in TN tomorrow

Chennai: A nine member inter-Ministerial team deputed by the Centre to assess the damage caused in Tamil Nadu by Vardah cyclone is arriving tomorrow in the state, which has sought an immediate assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for relief works.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Praveen Vashista will be leading the team, which consists of members from Departments of Finance, Agriculture, Health and Family Welfare, Rural Development and Road Transport, an official release said here today.

It will also have members from the Drinking Water and Sanitation Department and Central Electricity Authority.

Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had on December 19 met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and submitted a memorandum, pegging the estimated funds requirement for reconstruction and restoration works at Rs 22,573.26 crore in the aftermath of the cyclone that hit the state on December 12. He also sought an immediate assitance of Rs 1,000 crore.

The team was scheduled to hold consultations with Panneerselvam, before undertaking visits of the affected parts in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallore from December 28-30.

Its members will assess the damage caused by the cyclone to agriculture, industries, infrastructure and other sectors, and submit its report to the Centre.

On the basis of the report, the Central government will fix the compensation amount and provide financial assistance to the state.

At least 18 people were killed in the state when cyclone Vardah hit Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on December 12.

The cyclone, that triggered strong winds of more than 100 kmph, uprooted hundreds of trees and disrupted power supply lines besides land and air transport, throwing normal life out of gear in north Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai and adjoining districts.

Around 13,000 people were evacuated and provided shelter in 100 different locations to escape the fury of the massive cyclone.