November 23, 2015
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has urged the Prime Minister to disburse Rs 8,481 crore to Tamil Nadu towards rain and flood relief in the State, and sought an immediate release of Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre. She said 169 lives were lost.
The Chief Minister has sent a memorandum to the Centre seeking assistance of Rs 8,481 crore, and detailing the extent of damage to roads, houses, agriculture, infrastructure including water bodies, drainage and electrical systems.
In her letter to the Prime Minister today, Jayalalitha also urged him to immediately dispatch a central team to assess the damage and also recommend the assistance required.
Jayalalitha said, “I write enclosing a copy of the Government of Tamil Nadu’s detailed Memorandum seeking assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund and from other Central funds towards the cost of immediate relief and restoration works and the extensive damage suffered in the aftermath of extremely heavy rainfall in different districts in Tamil Nadu in the month of November, 2015. A deep depression of high intensity formed in the Bay of Bengal and hit the Tamil Nadu coast near Marakkanam on 10.11.2015, causing extremely heavy rains particularly in the four Northern coastal Districts of Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai and Tiruvallur.”
“ Based on the forecast received from the Indian Meteorological Department and the alerts received from the National Disaster Management Agency, adequate precautionary measures were taken which minimized loss to life and property. The State level agencies and the District administration in the affected Districts were put on high alert. High level teams of Ministers and senior IAS officers were deputed to various Districts to monitor the preventive, rescue and relief operations. The State Government and Local Body personnel belonging to different departments including Revenue, Police, Fire Service and Public Works Department were fully mobilized. In addition, the services of the National Disaster Response Force, Army, Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard were requisitioned wherever the need was felt. I thank you for the promptness in the dispatch of these forces.”
More than 4 lakh people were shifted to relief camps and provided food and shelter. Rescue and relief operations were undertaken on a war footing. The tireless immediate rescue and relief operations conducted against heavy odds were widely appreciated, Jayalalitha said.
Despite all the efforts taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu, as the rainfall was extremely heavy and sustained for several days, it has left a trail of damage and destruction. To cite an example, at Neyveli, it rained 437 mm on 9.11.2015. Similarly, Chennai has received the second heaviest monthly rainfall recorded in the past more than 100 years in just the first 20 days of November.
The rainfall continued for several days as the deep depression was followed by another low pressure system. Many parts of the State have been severely affected due to flooding. 169 lives were lost during this North East monsoon since 1.10.2015, and there was widespread damage to property including dwelling units and crops. Infrastructure, including roads and bridges, storm water drainage systems, water supply and sewerage systems and electricity supply systems have been battered in many areas, she pointed out.
“To meet the immediate expenditure on relief and restoration operations, I had sanctioned a sum of Rs.500 crores. However, the assessment of damages and requirement of funds for immediate relief and restoration of infrastructure which has been speedily carried out, indicates a much higher financial requirement. The requirement of funds for immediate rescue and relief and the temporary and permanent restoration of infrastructure has been worked out at Rs.8,481 crores in all. A Memorandum which contains a detailed assessment of damages and requirement of funds is enclosed.”
“This assessment has been made as an immediate measure since the Government of Tamil Nadu requires assistance from the Government of India to meet the very high expenditure requirements that such a severe calamity has caused. The funds required are well beyond the resources available with the State including the State Disaster Response Fund. Although I am aware that the extent of damage is still unfolding and we have many weeks left in the North East Monsoon period, during which more weather systems are expected to develop which could cause further damage, I have directed the officials to prepare this Memorandum so that the financial assistance which is immediately required could be expeditiously secured from the Government of India.”
“Keeping in view the urgency of restoring many of the infrastructure facilities and services to the flood affected people in the State and to support the Government of Tamil Nadu financially, as it is taking up massive scale relief operations, I request you to kindly depute a Central team immediately to make its on-the-spot assessment of damages and to release central financial assistance without any delay. In the meanwhile, I request that an on account release of Rs.2,000 crores may be sanctioned immediately to enable the State Government to sustain the relief and restoration operations with the same vigour,” Jayalalitha said in her letter to Modi.