Cyclone Vardah: Govt assures RS of appropriate relief steps

Aparna Parekh
CPI member D Raja speaking on cyclone Vardah in Rajya Sabha on Dec 14, 2016.

CPI member D Raja speaking on cyclone Vardah in Rajya Sabha on Dec 14, 2016.

A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking one thousand crore rupees to carry out relief and rehabilitation after cyclone Vardah battered the state, the matter was raised in the Upper House of the Parliament.

Several MPs from Tamil Nadu took up the issue to inform the Rajya Sabha of the devastation suffered by the state after cyclone Vardah made landfall two days ago.

Raising the matter in the zero hour, CPI MP from Tamil Nadu, D Raja apprised the House of the havoc caused.

“Many districts of Tamil Nadu – Chennai city, Thiruvallur, Kancheepura,, Vellore, Dharmapuri, Thiruvanamalai – all of these districts have been devastated…many people have died…thousands of trees have been uprooted and telecommunication stands cut off, many electricity poles have fallen and many districts remain in darkness,” said D Raja.

D Raja also said how demonetisation was adding to the miseries of the already suffering people.

“State government has asked for ₹ 1000 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund and they also want a Central team to visit the areas…. I urge the govt not to delay further…the Centre should come forward without any delay to help the state,” Raja said.

Tiruchi Shiva, DMK MP from Tamil Nadu spoke about the commercial loss which was estimated to ₹ 8000 crore.

“Centre should send a team to assess the loss,” he said.

Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha speaking on cyclone Vardah on Dec 14, 2016.

Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha speaking on cyclone Vardah on Dec 14, 2016.

Congress’ P Chidambaram complimented the governement on the precautionary measures it took before the cyclone struck.

“I compliment the government in positioning the NDRF in advance and I also compliment the government for making available army columns for rescue…What they have done is good, but more needs to be done,” said Chidambaram.

He urged the government to immediately respond to the state government’s request for financial aid but he also warned of the negative impact of demonetisation on those already suffering.

“Make sure that the ATMs and bank branches are replenished in Tamil Nadu so that people can draw their own money,” he requested.

After listening to the members’ concern, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley responded by assuring the House that appropriate action would be taken.

“The government shares their concern, it’s a serious crisis moment and as has been pointed out some anticipated action was taken in advance…I heard the suggestions of the honourable members and I will take it into consideration and whatever needs to be immediately done…we’ll take the appropriate steps,” assured Jaitley.

On Tuesday, in a letter to PM Modi, Panneerselvam had asked for a relief package and had also requested that a team be deputed to study the damage caused by the cyclone.