The Andhra Pradesh government Saturday requested the Centre to release Rs 1,200 crore as interim relief for restoration measures in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts that were battered by cyclone Titli. The severe cyclonic storm hit the two districts early Thursday, with winds gusting up to 165 kilometers per hour. Heavy rainfall, ranging from 10 cm to 43 cm, was witnessed in different parts of the districts.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, “The devastating cyclone has hit north coastal Andhra Pradesh, badly damaging the infrastructure and derailing normal life in the region, especially in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts.”
Naidu said the cost of damaged properties, crops and infrastructure has tentatively worked out to be Rs 2,800 crore. Horticulture was the worst hit with damages to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore followed by agriculture (Rs 800 crore), power sector (Rs 500 crore), roads and buildings, panchayat raj, rural water supply, irrigation (Rs 100 crore each), animal husbandry and fisheries (Rs 50 crore each), the chief minister said further.
“The state government has already started rescue and relief operations on a war-footing and I am personally camping in these districts, visiting the affected areas and supervising the relief and restoration operations,” Naidu said. In view of the severe damages to life, property and infrastructure, he urged the Centre to “liberally and expeditiously” sanction the relief so as to minimise the misery of the people.
Meanwhile, a release from chief minister’s office said eight people (seven in Srikakulam district and one in Vizianagaram) were killed in the “very severe” cyclonic storm while two fishermen were reported missing. In all, 290 km of roads were damaged along with 8,962 houses, 80 minor irrigation sources and 16 rural water supply tanks.
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) suffered damage to its infrastructure in Srikakulam district that bore the brunt of the cyclone, the release said. Agriculture crops in 1,39,844 hectares, including paddy in 1,36,531 hectares, was damaged in Srikakulam while crops in 308 hectares were lost in Vizianagaram district. Banana plantations in 2,424 hectares were also damaged.