Chairman & Members
Central Committee for Flood Relief
I wish to submit the following petition for addressing the livelihood issues of flood affected areas of Tamil Nadu.
- Cuddalore District is a prey to many natural calamities in the past few years. In 2004 thousands of people lost their life in Tsumani. In 2005 there were severe floods which destroyed and crippled the rural economy. The subsequent cyclones Nisha (2008), Neelam (2009), Thane Cyclones (2011) and the present floods has devastated the rural economy of Cuddalore and people of this region suffer economic hardships as a regular feature in their daily life. The District has become drainage for all flood waters of nearby districts and Karnataka state to Bay of Bengal. However there is need for establishing a permanent disaster management mechanism in Cuddalore District with a visionary outlook as a long term measure .
- The present floods has brought about Rs.4000/- crores damage to houses, crops, animals, poultry and farms. Cable TV Operators, Fishermen Boats and nets, Public property like roads, canals, EB Posts, Telephone Lines are also destroyed. So keeping this massive destruction to the tune of Rs.4000/- crores should be exclusively allotted for carrying out relief operations in Cuddalore district on priority basis with immediate effect. This huge amount is the need of the hour as about 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh acres of paddy crop, 3 lakh acre of groundnut (Manila) , 50000 acres of mango and cashew orchards, 10,000 acres of Casurania, Sugarcane for the coming pongal season in 5000 acres and hundreds of acres of banana and jasmine crop, 5000 acres of pulse crops is damaged due to this floods. Moreover five lakh houses and 150 poultry undertakings and sheds are also badly damaged and destroyed as a part of these floods. This needs to be compensated as majority of it belongs to small and marginal farmers of Cuddalore district as a immediate welfare measure.
- Agricultural insurance premium should be paid to all the farmers of floods affected coastal areas by the state government. Further crop loans and jewel loans for agriculture taken in banks should be waived for the flood affected farmers.
- The Central government should provide Rs.10,000/- crores to the Tamil Nadu Government of which Rs.3000/- crores should be disbursed within a short span of time.
- The Tamil Nadu State has issued a GO (MS).No.380 on the basis of disaster management guidelines through the revenue Department for carrying out relief operations in affected areas. This GO serves as guideline for carrying out relief compensation operations. However as by the GO, very less amount is sanctioned for carrying out relief operations. For deceased persons Rs.4/- lakhs is being granted as relief. This has to be increased substantially and Rs.10 lakhs should be given as compensation to families who have lost their members in this flood.
- At present Rs 7410 per hactre is being recommended for agriculture and horticulture crops this also needs to be increased to a tune of Rs 25000/ acre and for perennial crops the damage amount is fixed as Rs 18,000 / hectare .This has to be increased to Rs.one lakh /acre . The crop losses in paddy, sugarcane, tapioca, banana are very heavy and so Rs.25,000/- should be given for an acre of paddy and Tapioca and Rs.1.5 lakhs should be given as compensation for Sugarcane, Banana and Casuarina farmers in the flood affected areas.
- At present by the present GO Rs 5000 relief is given for fully damaged huts and Rs 4100 is being allotted for partly damaged huts. This amount is very small and insufficient to construct new houses and so this has to be increased to Rs.25,000/- to all fully damaged huts and Rs.20,000/- should be given as compensation for partially damaged huts.
- Rs.5000/- should be given to all people affected by floods as everyone has suffered individual losses in one-way or other. People residing in Thane rehabilitation house and group households, Govt constructed green houses, slum localities and residential apartments constructed by state slum clearance boards should be included in the relief distribution.
- Many dead people in floods are cremated without postmortem being conducted due to the severity of the floods so they also need to be compensated for their losses. The absence of proper loss of cattle in the floods is yet to be documented and a proper census and evaluation should be conducted to disburse the relief amount to animal owners
- For the affected agricultural labourers 30 kgs of rice along with Rs.5000/- should be given as flood compensation. For fisherman community Rs.5, 000/- should be given as compensation for their job losses and also additional compensation should be given for their damaged nets and boats.
- Neyveli lignite corporation, a major corporate in this district generates a profit of Rs 1500 crores annually. In the recent floods without prior notice the release of waters by NLC has resulted in huge economic losses to the nearby Periayakattu Palayam, vizur and paravar villages where 13people lost their life due to this flood. However this has become a regular feature of NLC administration for the past many years so the Central relief committee should recommend, instruct and initiate NLC management to properly maintain its discharge drains and construct and maintain all the nearby public water utilities through its Corporate social responsibility funds as by the new companies law.
- The Veeranam Dam need to be strengthened and the irrigation and drainage channels should be maintained properly to save water for proper irrigation and drinking purpose.
- Many government schools, public toilets, ration shops and government public utilities are destroyed by floods. A committee with public representatives should be formed along with development department officials and damage should be evaluated and construction of the damaged building should be taken on war footing to safeguard the interest of poor sections of the society. A detailed report from all Govt colleges and Annamalai university (The largest residential vasity in cuddalore) where a large quantum of cuddalore district students study should be got and the extent of damage should be ascertained and reconstruction work should be initiated in war footing to protect the higher education interests of this district.
- Tamil Nadu Government state disaster management agency relief funds along with National Disaster Management Funds should be used to give compensation to the flood affected coastal population at war footing
- I request the central committee for flood relief to use the modern information technology tools and satellite imaginaries (Geographic information tools) in evaluating the huge damage caused and also recommend flood distribution relief using banks, post office liking public distribution cards (Ration Cards), Aadhar cards, Voters identity Cards, so that the relief measures reaches the flood affected targeted population. The stampede in the distribution of cash relief in Chennai before few years where many people died can be avoided through such innovative distribution mechanisms. Moreover in the earlier natural calamities middle men/ officials/members of ruling party at all levels has siphoned out huge relief amount. To avoid this corruption the relief amount should be directly deposited in the individual bank account. In the absence of bank account the relief amount should be given away by cheque on individual name. The name of the beneficiaries should be released in the district administration website and also the name of the beneficiary and the related compensation amount should be pasted in all village panchyat office. This will ensure transparency and fairness in the distribution of relief to the affected people of cuddalore district.
- The coastal districts of Tamil Nadu have faced frequent disasters and it affects the livelihood and economy of coastal farming communities. Keeping this in view in all coastal districts a Disaster Management Committee should be permanently established involving all stakeholders of democratic institutions like people representatives of districts, Central and State political leaders of all Political parties to suggest appropriate polices and undertake effective flood relief operations to protect the interest of working class people and coastal farming communities in flood affected areas of Tamil Nadu.
I will be thankfull to you if the submitted petition is acknowledged along with an proper action taken report at the earliest possible time.