New Delhi: Opposition parties Congress, Left and DMK on Wednesday sought immediate sanction a financial package to provide relief to cyclone ravaged Tamil Nadu, a demand which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said "will be looked after by the government".
Jaitley said the government shares the concerns over the devastation caused by cyclone Vardah in Chennai and surrounding districts. "It is serious crisis."
While some advance preparation was done by moving the NDRF teams and deploying army columns, the Centre will do whatever is needed to provide relief, he said.
"I have heard the members. I will take into consideration" their suggestions and the government will decide on relief after consultations with the concerned authorities, he said.
Earlier, former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said the Centre should immediately respond to Tamil Nadu government's request for financial aid.
Chidambaram said it should be ensured that ATMs and bank branches are replenished so people can draw their own money.
CPI leader D Raja said the cyclone has devastated many districts of Tamil Nadu including Chennai, leaving a number of people dead, uprooting thousands of trees, snapping telecommunication lines and plunging several cities into darkness.
The tragedy has been compounded by demonetisation, leaving no cash with the people to buy necessities, he said asking the government to reconsider its decision to junk old 1000 and 500 rupee notes.
DMK's Tiruchi Siva said at least 24 persons have so far been reported killed in the cyclone. Because of demonetisation, there is no cash with the people, he said, adding "a litre of milk is being sold at Rs 200."