Cyclone Ockhi: Rahul Gandhi writes to PM Modi, requests financial assistance for fishermen

Cyclone Ockhi lashed the coastal areas on November 29-30, 2017.

Cyclone Ockhi: Rahul Gandhi writes to PM Modi, requests financial assistance for fishermen
Pic courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to declare a comprehensive special financial package for Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep in the wake of damage and loss of life caused by cyclone Ockhi.

In his first letter as the Congress chief to the Prime Minister, he requested PM Modi to help put in place adequate measures for strengthening the weather update system and advance cyclone warning communication mechanism in the coastal areas.

Highlighting the suffering of cyclone-hit fishermen, Rahul said the cyclone has caused tremendous damage to their lives and livelihood.

"In these challenging times, our fishermen deserve a helping hand from our government," he said. 

"I would request you to declare a comprehensive special financial package for Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Lakshadweep to undertake rehabilitation, provide financial assistance to the families of the deceased fishermen and for the overall development of the coastal region," Rahul added.

He had met the fishermen during his recent visit to Kerala and Tamil Nadu on December 14

Rahul also asked the PM to take steps to prevent such a tragedy, to the extent possible.

He said fishermen in the coastal region depend solely on fishing and related activities as their only means of livelihood and are a vital economic resource of our economy.

"I urge you to take holistic measures for ensuring housing, basic health services and quality education for their children," Rahul said.

He further said that the impact of the cyclone has brought to light the urgent need to ensure adequate measures for strengthening the weather update system and advance cyclone warning communication mechanism in the coastal areas and for providing life-saving instruments for the fishermen sailing to the sea.

"May I also emphasise the need to construct sea-walls and groynes in the vulnerable sea coasts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu," he urged the PM.

Meanwhile, PM Modi will visit the cyclone-hit areas in Lakshadweep, Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, PTI quoted BJP sources as saying.

According to the schedule released by the BJP state unit, he would arrive at Kochi in the early hours of December 19 and proceed to Agatti in Lakshadweep at 7.30 am.

PM Modi would then leave for Thiruvananthapuram. From here, he would visit Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, party sources said.

Before leaving for Delhi in the evening, he would visit cyclone-hit areas in Thiruvananthpuram's coastal region.

(With PTI inputs)

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