Rains batter southern TN; CM directs ministerial delegation to oversee relief

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Chennai, Jan 13 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday said he has deputed a ministerial delegation to immediately visit the rain battered southern districts of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Tenkasi and expedite the process of relief and restoration work there.

Also, with the unprecedented torrential rains devastating paddy and other crops, he has ordered the agriculture and revenue officials to assess the extent of crop loss of farmers, he said.

'We have received an excess rainfall of 108.7 mm against the normal rainfall of 10.2 mm in January. As a result, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Ramanthapuram, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Villupuram, Kallakurichi and Tiruvallur disticts were affected,' he said in a statement.

'I have asked Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar, information minister Kadambur C Raju and Adi Dravidar minister V M Rajalakshmi to visit Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts and expedite the process of relief and restoration activities,' he added.

Palaniswami said he has directed the Collectors of the respective districts to evacuate the people living in the low level areas to safe places and provide them relief.

Assuring that all affected farmers would be compensated for their crop loss, Palaniswami said his government has sanctioned Rs 565.46 crore, high and above the limits permitted during calamitous times, towards the compensation for crop loss of farmers due to Nivar and Burevi cyclones in 2020-end.

Of the sum, about Rs 487 crore has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of the affected farmers and the process of disbursing the remaining amount is on.

The sudden heavy rains threw life out of gear in the southern districts inundating several areas and even caused the water level in the reservoirs to swell.

The Tamirabharani river is in spate and several low- lying areas are flooded.

Nearly 29,000 cusecs of water was released from the Papanasam and Manimuthar dams initially and the quantum was enhanced to 51,000 cusecs as the level in these two dams increased rapidly, a Public Works Department official said.