December 19, 2016
The Tamil Nadu Government on Monday sought more than Rs 22,000 crores from the Centre after assessing the damages caused by the recent cyclone that ravaged the northern districts of the State.
A memorandum presented by Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the total fund requirement for relief and restoration works has been assessed at Rs. 22,573 crores.
During the meeting, Panneerselvam reiterated the request for an on account release of Rs.1000 crores from the National Disaster Response Fund immediately. He also requested that Central assistance under the National Disaster Response Fund and under other Central schemes be sanctioned at the earliest to enable the State to undertake the ongoing restoration and rehabilitation works.
The Chief Minister also presented a separate memorandum to Modi containing 29 crucial issues relating to the State including immediate constitution of the Cauvery Management Board in accordance with the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
The memorandum also highlighted the concerns about the Mekedatu Scheme of Karnataka, the restoration of water level to FRL of 152 ft in the Mullai Periyar Dam, inter-linking of rivers, funding for the Athikadavu – Avinashi Scheme and Tamil Nadu’s apprehensions about the proposed Dam Safety Bill, 2016 and the National Water Framework Bill, 2016.
Panneerselvam also informed Modi that the imposition of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) would cause grave injustice to students from rural areas and hence Tamil Nadu be exempted from NEET.
Other issues including taking legislative steps to conduct jallikattu, resolving the issues relating to Nokia plant near Chennai, the realignment of the proposed Kochi-Bengaluru GAIL pipeline, objections to the proposed privatisation of Salem Steel Plant and shifting of the CIPET head office from Chennai to Delhi were raised.
Panneerselvam also requested Modi to confer the nation’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna on Jayalalithaa and install a life size bronze statue of the late Chief Minister in Parliament.