Stalin announces Rs 1,000 cr relief package in Cyclone & rain hit areas

Chennai, Dec 31 (UNI) After announcing Rs 6,000 relief for all card holders in rain hit areas of Chennai and three neighbouring districts due to Cyclonic storm, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin in a further boost announced a Rs 1,000-crore relief package for the flood-hit districts.

The relief included assistance for reconstruction of and repairs to houses, loans to help businesses and compensation for crop damage in the four southern districts which was hit was unprecedented rains.

The scheme will be funded by the government, which at an estimated cost of Rs 385 crore, will construct 4,577 new houses and repair 9,975 houses would be repaired.

Detailed guidelines for the scheme would be issued soon, an official release here said.

It said the Tamil Nadu government has decided to rebuild the houses that were destroyed and repair those that were damaged in the unprecedented rain in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts.

Mr. Stalin ordered that an assistance of Rs 4 lakh each be provided for rebuilding the destroyed houses and Rs 2 lakh each for repairing the partially damaged ones. The cash aid will be provided through the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department. The assistance scheme will also be implemented in Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts, which were damaged by flash floods triggered by the Cyclone in the first week of this month.

Due to the floods in eight districts, including Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli, crops in over 2,64,000 hectares were damaged and a total compensation of Rs 250 crore would be provided. Cooperative societies will provide the affected farmers with crop loans and loans for buying equipment on a priority basis.

The Agriculture Engineering Department will remove silt from agricultural land in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts free of cost.

A special loan scheme will be implemented to assist small traders, shop owners and street vendors in Chennai, Thoothukudi, and Tirunelveli districts who were affected by the floods. Under the scheme, loans of up to Rs 10,000, with a 4% interest, and loans, of up to Rs 1 lakh at a 6% interest, would be provided. The guidelines for this scheme also will be issued soon.

The Tamilnadu Industrial Investment Corporation Ltd. will launch a special loan scheme for the flood-affected micro, small and medium enterprises in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Thoothukudi, and Tirunelveli districts. Under it, a loan of Rs 100 crore will be provided. Industries will be granted up to Rs 3 lakh with a special annual interest rate of 6% and they can repay the amount in three months in 18 instalments. Around 3,300 enterprises are expected to benefit from the scheme.

The floods in Chennai and the southern districts had also impacted the loan repayment by members of women self-help groups (SHGs). Loan and interest repayments would be restructured, and measures for this would be taken immediately. Steps would be taken to provide new loans to the tune of Rs 350 crore to eligible women self-help groups in the current year.

Apart from this, an assistance of Rs 15 crore would be provided to repair 4,928 fishing boats and machinery in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts. About 17,000 cattle and over one lakh chicken had died. A compensation of up to Rs 37,500 per cow and buffalo, Rs 4,000 per goat and Rs 100 per chicken would be provided.

Also aloan of up to Rs 1.5 lakh would be granted for purchase of livestock, while an additional assistance of Rs 3,000 would be provided to salt workers registered with the Salt Labour Welfare Board. Arrangements have been made for students in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli to get duplicate copies of their lost certificates through submission of an application to the heads of their schools and colleges.

New textbooks would be provided to the affected students of government, government-aided and pivate schools.

The Collectors would organise special camps on Mondays to get duplicate copies of the lost government documents such as ration cards, voter identity cards, and driving licences.

The Transport Department has co-ordinated with vehicle manufacturers, insurers, and agents to organise special camps in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts. Of the 3,046 vehicles that were brought for repairs, 917 have been repaired. The work on repairing the rest was under way.

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