Cyclone: Gujarat govt to give Rs 4 lakh each to kin of dead

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Ahmedabad, May 19 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Wednesday approved a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of those who have died due to various incidents related to cyclone Tauktae that ravaged coastal areas of the state.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who made the compensation announcement, said those injured in cyclone-triggered incidents will get Rs 50,000 each, said a state government release.

This financial assistance is in addition to the central government's compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured persons, it said.

According to the Gujarat government, 45 persons lost their lives in incidents related to the cyclone which hit the state on Monday night.

Tauktae triggered heavy rains from Saurashtra coast to North Gujarat. Over 16,000 houses were damaged, more than 40,000 trees and over 70,000 electric poles uprooted, while 5,951 villages faced total power blackout, it said.

In a video message, Rupani said his government's focus is on restoration of communication and electricity infrastructure and repair of damaged roads.

Rupani thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who earlier in the day conducted an aerial survey of areas hit by the cyclone, for announcing a package of Rs 1,000 crore for the state to carry out 'immediate relief activities'.

After hitting the coast on Monday night, cyclone Tauktae remained active on Gujarat's landmass for around 28 hours and passed from the Saurashtra coast till Banaskantha in the north, said Rupani.

'Of the total 1,200 roads damaged and shut due to the extreme weather, we have repaired 1,100 till now and remaining roads will be opened by tomorrow (Thursday).

'We have deployed 5,000 men for this work. Restoration is going on a war footing,' said the chief minister.

With the help of 15,000 personnel, 152 out of 219 power sub-stations, which were shut down due to the cyclone, were repaired and made operational, said the CM.

'Electricity has been restored in a majority of the (affected) villages due to our efforts. Of the total 2,100 mobile towers damaged, around 1,500 were already repaired and made operational,' he said.

Though 295 COVID-19 hospitals experienced power cuts due to bad weather, patients were not affected as the hospitals were already instructed in advance to install power generator sets, said the CM.

He said electricity has already been restored in 270 of these designated COVID-19 hospitals on a priority basis.

The state government will start the COVID-19 vaccination drive, which was suspended due to the cyclone, from Thursday, said Rupani.

He said the government would start the exercise of assessing the damage caused by the powerful storm, including crop loss, from Thursday and take a decision on compensation accordingly. PTI PJT RSY RSY

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