Central team begins inspection in cyclone-affected Nagapattinam
A central team deputed to assess the damage caused by cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu, Monday visited the affected areas in Nagapattinam district.
The team led by Daniel E Richard, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, began the inspection from the worst-hit Vettaikaraniruppu village. Earlier, they held a discussion at the Nagapattinam collectorate with the district Collector C Sureshkumar, senior officials and Tamil Nadu Ministers.
The Collector explained the extent of damage with a video presentation.
The team inspected Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's sub-station at Vettaikarairuppu that was completely destroyed by the cyclone.
The team members interacted with the affected people at Therkkupoigainallur. Arupathy Kalyanam, general secretary of the Federation of Farmers Associations of Cauvery Delta Districts, submitted a memorandum to the central team demanding the release of crop loss compensation from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
He said in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts, coconut and other perennial trees in around 40,000 hectares were uprooted by the cyclone, adding farmers required around Rs 2 to 3 lakh per hectare to remove the uprooted trees.
"The compensation announced by the Tamil Nadu government is paltry. The central government should ensure a fair micro level accurate assessment in the affected villages and provide suitable compensation under NDRF," he added.
He pointed out that for the eight-laning of the Salem highway, the state government announced Rs 50,000 as compensation to uproot a single coconut tree.
"The same yardstick should be followed here too," he said.
The team is scheduled to undertake an assessment in nearby Karaikal district (Puducherry) later in the evening.
The team commenced inspection on November 24 in Pudukottai district.
Cyclone 'Gaja' had hit the Tamil Nadu coast early on November 16 between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam, about 300 km from Chennai. It left behind a trail of destruction in
Nagapattinam district and also in several other districts.
(With inputs from agencies.)