November 17, 2018
Chennai : The steadily rising death toll in Cyclone Gaja is a clear-cut indication of the failure of the state government to protect the lives of the people. At the last count, at least 46 people had died in the fury of Cyclone Gaja that hit Tamil Nadu coast on Thursday night and left behind a trail of destruction.
Unlike in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had personally plunged into action during Cyclone Hudhud in October 2014. Meticulous planning and an alert and responsive administration has perfected the disaster management in Andhra Pradesh that is cyclone prone.
Perhaps Tamil Nadu could learn a thing or two from Andhra Pradesh on cyclone preparedness. But this does not in any way take away from the stupendous rescue mission carried out by the TN administration after Tsunami hit the state killing thousands of people. Rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the victims was taken up on a war footing and the officials earned the praise of one and all.
The death toll in cyclone Gaja at 46, may well rise. This in today’s world and age is nothing but admission of improper preparedness to face impending natural disaster, predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department with near 100 per cent accuracy. Besides, the plethora of international agencies and bloggers.
The extent of damage is slowly being estimated as the intensity of cyclone died down. Former union finance minister P Chidambaram urged the union home minister Rajnath Singh to immediately send two officials to evaluate the extent of damage suffered by Tamil Nadu.
The worst affected areas are Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam which were ripped up by cyclone winds gusting up to 120 kmph, leaving behind twisted electric poles, smashed huts and damaging houses.
In fact, chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami accused the centre of not giving adequate money to the state government to meet the crisis emanating from natural disaster. The centre has not sanctioned funds as sought by the government. If this was the case with UPA, even the BJP led NDA government is no different, he said.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami said only a “specified” amount had been sanctioned in the past and the state was meeting the expenses on such matters from its own funds.” This central government (NDA) has also not given. To my knowledge, the previous (UPA) government has also not sanctioned the entire amount (as demanded by Tamil Nadu) following cyclone,” he said.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy is holding consultations with officials to assess the extent of damage to seek appropriate cyclone relief from the central government.
And it is not over for the residents of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with the met office predicting that there will be rainfall for three days from November 19 in the low lying coastal areas.