New Delhi: Expressing concern over the rain fury in Tamil Nadu, members in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday offered to utilise MPLADS funds for relief and rehabilitation work in the state and some even announced contributions of varying amounts for the cause.
The House took up a discussion on the issue on urgent basis with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu saying the flood situation in Chennai is worrisome as IMD has prediced heavy rains in the next two days.
The situation is precarious as all connnectivity in the city has been disrupted due to overflowing of water, he said.
"I am very worried. I pray to the God to save all people," the minister said.
He asked members to give concrete suggestions, both short and long term, with "one voice" to save the people in flood-hit Chennai without indulging in criticism of each other at this crucial juncture.
He said the flood situation in Chennai was discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning. "The PM has talked to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister (yesterday) and offered to give all support," he added.
Naidu said a high level meeting will be held in a short while to discuss the Chennai flood issue.
The Tamil Nadu government is doing its best and the Centre has sanctioned Rs 933 crore towards flood relief to the state, the minister said.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said, "We can allow MPLADs funds for relief work in Chennai."
He said National Disaster Relief Force is stuck in Chennai floods and hence helicopers should be sent to drop food packets to people.
Yechury's suggestion was supported by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"I also associate with CPI-M leader. It (using MPLADs funds) had come to my mind, but as always Yechury takes the lead. On behalf of my party, we will support funds from MPLADS," he said.
To this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said: "All of us are willing to contribute from MPLADS to provide relief to flood-affected Chennai. The amount will be decided in consultation with Chairman."
Under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), the district authorities spend money on works recommended by member of both the Houses from time to time.