Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to depute a team of two officers immediately to inspect the extent of damage caused by cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu. The former union home and finance minister also requested Singh to modify the practice of sending inter-ministerial team to a disaster-affected state only after receiving a memorandum from the concerned state government.
“I have requested HOME MINISTER through Home Secretary to depute a team of two officers immediately to visually inspect the extent of damage caused by cyclone Gaja (sic),” Chidambaram said in a tweet. He said the usual practice is for the state to submit a memorandum after a disaster hits it and a visit by the inter-ministerial team. He said this takes at least 2-3 weeks and full impact of the disaster is not measurable because of repair and restoration work.
“I have appealed to MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) to modify the practice,” he said. At least 13 people have lost their lives and over 81,000 others were affected after cyclone ‘Gaja’ hit the Tamil Nadu coast Friday.
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Six districts of Tamil Nadu and two in Puducherry were hit by the cyclonic storm which also brought heavy rains in the southern state and the Union Territory. The National Emergency Response Centre has said altogether 81,948 people were affected by the cyclone.
Cyclone ‘Gaja’ crossed Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam, bringing with it heavy rains in the coastal region Friday. Gusty winds due to the cyclonic storm resulted in hundreds of trees and electricity poles being uprooted in Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts, officials said.