Tamil Nadu estimates cyclone damage at Rs 22,573 crore

Estimating the loss due to cyclone Vardah that crossed Chennai coast on December 12 at Rs 22,573 crore, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Monday presented a detailed memorandum on damages to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a state government release said. Presenting the memorandum to Modi at his residence in New Delhi, he also reiterated his earlier request for an immediate 'on account' release of Rs.1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Panneerselvam also thanked Modi for constituting a central team to make an on the spot assessment of the damages and requested that central assistance at the earliest to undertake the ongoing restoration and rehabilitation works.

He also presented a separate memorandum containing 29 issues pertaining to Tamil Nadu needing central government's urgent attention. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister indicated that the most pressing issue is the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board in accordance with the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. The memorandum also listed the concerns about the Mekedatu Scheme of Karnataka; the restoration of water level to 52 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.

Protection of the traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay and ensuring their safety and security, retrieval of Katchatheevu Island, and early sanction of the Comprehensive Special Package for Diversification of Fisheries were also raised in the memorandum. The expeditious approval of the revised bidding documents for the Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project, creation of a Dedicated Inter-state Green Energy Corridor; abolishing frequency linked penalty for renewable energy rich states; enabling conduct of Jallikattu/bull taming sport and other issues figured. Panneerselvam also requested the central government to confer the Bharat Ratna on late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and install a full length bronze statue of hers in the Parliament House.

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