Cyclone Ockhi: PM Modi announces Rs 325 crore relief to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that Centre will give financial assistance worth Rs 325 crore to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep.

Cyclone Ockhi: PM Modi announces Rs 325 crore relief to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep
Pic courtesy: @PMOIndia

Kanyakumari: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced financial assistance worth Rs 325 crore to Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep for relief work in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi.

The financial assistance is over and above the assistance of Rs 280 crore to Tamil Nadu, and Rs. 76 crore to Kerala disbursed earlier in December 2017, a statement by the PMO said.

The government will also support the reconstruction of approximately 1400 houses fully damaged due to the cyclone, on priority, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Under this programme, each beneficiary will get upto Rs 1.5 lakh as support for building a new house.

An ex-gratia assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs. 50,000 to each of those seriously injured due to the cyclone have been sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

The PM Modi flew to Lakshadweep on Tuesday morning and then flew to Kerala, where Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan received him. After that PM took a helicopter to go to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

He visited coastal villages in Tamil Nadu that were devastated by the cyclone. He also met representatives of fishermen from Kanyakumari.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami submitted a memorandum to PM Modi listing out the state's needs for rehabilitation of the cyclone-affected district.

"Due to cyclone Ockhi, our farmers, fishermen and villages have been affected. When the cyclone struck, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited affected areas and taken stock of the situation," the PM said.

He added, "Centre is providing all possible assistance. Navy and Coast Guard are monitoring the situation. Some of our people are stranded in foreign nations. The MEA and various embassies are working to bring them back. Some people also got stranded on parts of India's western coast. We have rescued many of them."

The PM further said, "I am here to assure you that India stands shoulder to shoulder with all those affected by the cyclone. We will leave no stone unturned in the rescue and relief operations."

Earlier, the PM met people hit by the cyclone in Lakshadweep islands after reviewing the situation at a high-level meeting at the union territory's capital Kavaratti.

Kavaratti is situated roughly 400 km west of Kochi coast. PM Modi also interacted with a group of school children in Kavaratti.

He had yesterday tweeted saying the Centre has been monitoring the situation round the clock and ensuring proper rescue and relief operations since cyclone Ockhi struck. 

Meanwhile, a PMO statement yesterday said the Centre released the second instalment from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for Kerala and Tamil Nadu to supplement the efforts of these states in dealing with the situation. "During the financial year 2017-18, the amounts of the central share of the SDRF to the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu were Rs 153 crore and Rs 561 crore respectively," it had said.

Parts of southern Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep were battered by the cyclone that formed in the Bay of Bengal on November 30, 2017, and later moved to the Arabian Sea.

(With Agency inputs)