December 28, 2016
The Central team, led by Union Home Ministry Joint Secretary Praveen Vashista, today commended the quick restoration work undertaken by the Tamil Nadu Government and assured Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam that the team would take up an in-depth assessment of the damage caused by cyclone ‘Vardah’ and submit its report at the earliest.
The assurance was given to the State government when the nine-member Central team, which arrived here last night, met the Chief Minister at the State Secretariat before visiting the cyclone ravaged districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram to make an assessment of the damages.
Recalling the memorandum submitted by him to the Prime Minister on December 19, assessing the fund requirement for relief and reconstruction works as Rs. 22,573 crore, the Chief Minister requested the Central team to make an in depth assessment of the damage and to submit its report at the earliest to the Centre.
According to Praveen Vashista, they were able to gauge the intensity of the cyclone based on media reports. He said the team could see the speedy restoration works done by the State Government even as they arrived in the airport and on their way to the Secretariat.
The Commissioner for Revenue Administration, who was also present, said the team will be visiting Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur as well as important locations in Chennai today and tomorrow. Before that a team of State officials would brief them in detail.
An official release said that the Chief Minister thanked the Prime Minister for deputing the Central team to the State.
He said Chennai city was struck by ‘Vardah’ on December 12. “This was a very destructive cyclonic storm. Based on the IMD alerts on December 11, the entire government machinery was activated and precautionary measures taken to minimise the loss of lives,” he said.
The cyclone has caused extensive damages in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts, besides affecting Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Dharmapuri and Vellore districts. Due to high wind speeds infrastructure, in particular, power sector was badly affected. More than 1.50 lakh well grown trees were uprooted, he added.